پارادوکس در حسابداری مدیریت راهبردی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|10312||2012||16 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Management Accounting Research, Volume 23, Issue 4, December 2012, Pages 229–244
The evidence that strategic management accounting (SMA) techniques have not been adopted widely and that developments in the SMA literature seem to have languished may be consistent with the relatively short lifecycle of most strategic management (SM) tools and many concepts. Nevertheless, there is an inherent contradiction between the apparent decline of SMA and the sustained growth in the number of concepts, models, tools, theoretical perspectives, disciplines, academic and professional journals and consultancy practices that populate the SM domain. This paradox of SMA is explored in the context of the evolution of the SM literature, SMA practice, as exemplified by two recent case studies, and the cognate literatures of management control, performance measurement and knowledge management. It transpires that the SMA literature is based in large part on a narrow, first-era, view of the SM literature that reached maturity with Michael Porter's industry analysis model and generic competitive strategies. The second era of SM that began in 1977 with a move to a more internal, resource-based view of the firm and competitive advantage has been mostly neglected by the extant SMA literature. However, to judge from the small number of published case studies, SMA practices are developing in line with their strategy formulation and organisational processes. The links among the bundle of techniques that are usually included in SMA and between SMA and cognate literatures need to be integrated into a coherent, cohesive framework to complement SM.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The paradox of SMA The SM academic and practice-oriented literatures have developed rapidly in parallel with a related SM consultancy business since the launch of the Strategic Management Journal in 1979. In sharp contrast to strategic management, SMA has ‘remained a collection of academic texts and has had a negligible impact on managerial discourse and practice’ (Seal, 2010, p. 95). There is usually neither a simple explanation nor an easy solution to an apparent contradiction. For example, ‘companies … will need more management accounting information but fewer management accountants’ (Cooper, 1996a, p. 20). Cooper suggested two related reasons to explain his prediction; the pressure on organisations to reduce costs, while simultaneously meeting the product-service quality and functionality that customers demand, and using distributed systems to decentralise the management accounting process. Cost management was becoming everyone's responsibility. As Hopwood (2003) observed, cost management is also a strategic issue that ‘has the potential to change the whole business’ (p. 11). Both the pressures on costs and the diffusion of very accessible cost and management accounting techniques have continued to increase since Cooper's warning. These trends are one reason why the demand for SMA techniques might also be expected to have increased. The burgeoning SM literature and consultancy business are another reason. A definitive explanation is clearly preferable to a tentative one. However, for several reasons circumspection is required when interpreting the survey evidence that SMA techniques have not been adopted widely. These reasons include the lack of consensus on what SMA is (see Section 3.1, above), the diffusion of management accounting techniques within organisations and their extended networks and the low recognition of the SMA ‘brand name’ (Bhimani and Bromwich, 2010, p. 48). The small number of case studies that have been conducted confirm the use of management accounting techniques to support SM within these organisations. The case study evidence also highlights the low recognition of the term SMA even when management accounting concepts and techniques are a part of the whole system of SM in these organisations (see Section 4, above). ‘[D]isagreement concerning definitions is not of major importance; much more important is that SMA is employed by firms’ (ibid., p. 49). The gap between the SMA literature and practice is exacerbated by the gaps between SMA and the SM literature (see Section 3.2) and the cognate literatures of performance measurement, management control and knowledge management (see Section 5). This lack of integration and identity may begin to explain the apparent low adoption of SMA techniques. Areas for future research The strategic and organisational imperatives of a dynamic external environment mean that the context of research areas is constantly changing. The above analysis points to four related areas of future research, namely, the gaps between the SMA literature and (1) the SM literature (see Section 3.2, above); (2) practice (see Section 4, above); (3) cognate strategic-oriented literatures (see Section 5, above); and (4) the lack of consistency, cohesion and coherence among techniques attributed to SMA (see Section 3.1, above). The links between the SMA and SM literatures The second era of SM that began to evolve in the late 1970s has been addressed only in a very limited way in the extant SMA literature (see Sections 3.2 and 3.3, above). This gap suggests that SMA researchers could usefully begin to explore the management accounting concepts and techniques relevant to the issues and perspectives of the SM literature (see Sections 2.3, 2.4, 2.5, 2.6, 2.7, 2.8 and 2.9, above). Anderson (2007) pointed to research in other disciplines, such as marketing, operations management, business strategy, finance and economics, that had ‘already laid the groundwork for understanding strategic cost management’ (p. 498). Although these other disciplines ‘tend to present a circumscribed view of cost management in a narrow portion of the value chain’ (ibid.), Anderson argues that ‘the new challenge for cost management research is to engage with diverse research streams … and to integrate what has been learned in other disciplines with management accounting theory’ (ibid.). From a SMA perspective the ideal approach would be for multi-disciplinary teams, working in an iterative way to and from the SM and SMA literatures, to conduct in-depth case studies. SMA research needs to be part of the SM research trend toward ‘a centred eclectism’ (see Section 2.5, above). There can be little doubt that, in the context of SMA research especially, ‘leveraging diversity can only bring richer knowledge’ (Davila and Oyon, 2008, p. 887). The links between SMA literature and practice ‘[I]nfluencing practice is an important objective of management accounting’ (ibid., p. 888). However, the relationship between SMA research and practice is very much a reciprocal one. The SMA system of Company B (see Section 4, above) is an integral part of the organisational design that supports SM of the three processes (customer relations and marketing, NPD&D and support2) of the company's business model. By studying SMA within the organisational context it is possible to begin to understand the interaction among all the dimensions that can influence SM, of which SMA needs to take account–for example, internal and external dimensions, strategic and operational, formal and informal, explicit and tacit, technical and social/behavioural. ‘Enterprise-based longitudinal studies’ (Bhimani and Langfield-Smith, 2007, p. 25) also allow researchers to locate the SMA system, to establish how it is used, by whom, for what purpose and how the various analyses and measures are synthesised. ‘Organisational nuances’ also become more apparent (ibid.). For example, in Company B the formal information system, including the SMA, influences indirectly the informal system through the formal team structure and a top-down, bottom-up iterative management style. The formal information system is actually managed as a dynamic continuum of structured, semi-structured and unstructured (informal) information. Case studies also provide an opportunity to assess who owns the SMA system (Langfield-Smith, 2008). Within Company B the system is compiled and managed by the ‘Strategy and Target Setting’ department. However, ownership belongs to the teams responsible for providing much of the data; this ownership arrangement encourages team participants to share information and to use the system. Economists and knowledge management theorists are familiar with the ‘appropriability’ problem, namely how to ensure that the owner of a resource, such as research and development knowledge or a design receives a return equal to the value created (Teece, 1987). ‘Does it matter if the SMA developments are not managed or “owned” by the accounting function?’(Langfield-Smith, 2008, p. 223). A study that focused on the strategic information needs of 12 senior managers in six leading Dutch organisations concluded that ‘strategic accountants can bridge the gap between traditional accounting and SM and provide strategic managers with the type of information they need to make informed, timely decisions’ (Brouthers and Roozen, 1999, p. 321). Although Anderson (2007) is ‘ambivalent about the need for specially trained practitioners, who work in accounting departments and employ a narrow set of management accounting tools to analyze data’ (p. 498), she nevertheless believes ‘that management accounting has a natural role in both the strategic decisions that define the cost structure for the long term as well as the effective execution of these strategies in the short term’ (ibid.). Of course, management accounting is conducted by many disparate disciplines (Lord, 1996 and Dixon, 1998). Bhimani and Bromwich (2010) point out that ‘[t]here is a danger that the investment and cost aspects of strategy may be considered secondary in the absence of accountants being involved in strategy and able to apply SMA techniques’ (p. 52). From the perspective of the multi-disciplinary teams that accountants increasingly operate in, the question of ownership of the SMA activity seems redundant and potentially dysfunctional; the SMA belongs to the team, although accountants are likely to have a competitive advantage in compiling and using financial numbers, balancing and negotiating financial targets among other disciplines, analysing variances and ensuring consistent application of financial criteria in decisions. A further advantage that accountants enjoy is that their financial assessments of marketing, operations, or NPD&D decisions are likely to be perceived by senior management as relatively more objective than those of the discipline managers directly concerned. From this perspective, collaboration and communication across disciplines are much more important than the question of SMA ownership. The links between the SMA literature and related literatures The many techniques of SMA, including the executional and structural cost management tools of strategic cost management, can provide depth to, and help to integrate, the perspectives of performance measurement and the controls of management control. The performance measurement and management control literatures, which have already moved closer (Simons, 2000), can, in turn, help to provide a basis for integrating the fragmented developments of both SMA and strategic cost management into ‘a unified body of knowledge’ (Anderson, 2007, p. 498). The techniques of SMA can also be developed by, and, in turn, enhance, concepts of knowledge management relating to, for instance, uncertainty and risk management, innovation, knowledge transfer, communication and co-ordination. Future research could explore, for example, how the potential synergies among SMA, performance measurement, management control and knowledge management can be better exploited. Towards an integrated framework The evidence of this paper suggests that a unified body of knowledge for SMA would have four ‘building blocks’: the SM literature, practice, related strategy-oriented literatures and an integrated set of management accounting techniques. Future research could endeavour to understand and develop the interactions and complementarities among the four blocks and also among the many management accounting techniques that comprise SMA. Anderson (2007) observed that, in the context of strategic cost management, ‘management accounting research has tended to focus on executional (operational) cost management and on the product (manufacturing) portion of the value chain’ (p. 497). She suggested that researchers could attempt to extend the scope of cost management and to make it more strategic by also focusing on ‘structural cost management’ that ‘employs tools of organizational design, product design and process design to build a cost structure that is coherent with strategy’ (ibid., p. 481). Both structural and executional cost management techniques are embedded in the NPD&D process of Company B (see Section 4, above). Part of the paradox of SMA is that there is so little research in an area with so much scope for potentially rewarding research. One possible explanation may be that the scope and theoretical pluralism of SM make it imperative for SMA researchers to cross conceptual and discipline boundaries. ‘However, as management accounting researchers we can be criticized for working too much within our silos’ (Davila and Oyon, 2008, p. 887). Future research that aims to strengthen the links among SMA, SM, practice, cognate areas and SMA techniques (see Sections 6.2.1, 6.2.2, 6.2.3 and 6.2.4) requires interdisciplinary research. There is a great opportunity and also an acute need to ‘leverage (the) diversity’ through ‘cross-paradigm collaboration’ (ibid.).