بومی سازی یک سیستم کنترل مدیریت جهانی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|16486||2011||16 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Accounting, Organizations and Society, Volume 36, Issue 7, October 2011, Pages 412–427
This study examines how the management control system designed at the head office of an increasingly globalised hotel chain was enacted within one of its sub-units; a joint venture operating in the hospitality industry in Portugal. We found that the practices which comprised the global management control system were reproduced within this joint venture. Yet, at the same time, its managers made the global system ‘work’ for them, thereby producing variety. Albeit our findings are in line with Barrett, Cooper, and Jamal’s (2005) study, which was inspired by Giddens, 1990 and Giddens, 1991, we interpret them somewhat differently as we draw on the work of Robertson, 1992 and Robertson, 1995. We view localisation as a process through which heterogeneous practices can emerge to facilitate the homogenising tendencies of globalisation by complementing, rather than undermining or opposing, it. As a result, the local can differentiate itself from the global. Also, by linking our findings to the notion of situated functionality in Ahrens and Chapman (2007), we argue that this heterogeneity can be produced when organisational members, whatever their level in the organisation, seek to achieve both the corporate and their own specific objectives.
Localisation and globalisation have often been defined as opposites (see Barber, 1992, Giddens, 1990, Giddens, 1991 and Robertson, 1995 In general terms, globalisation is associated with a growing diffusion of goods, services, values and technologies around the world, the consequence of which is the convergence of societies toward a uniform pattern of economic, political and cultural organisation. In this sense, globalisation is seen as a powerful force that leads to increasingly homogenised practices (for a review see Guillen, 2001). A tendency towards the global homogenisation of accounting practices is also claimed to be taking place, as some authors argue that multinationals3 are forcing their sub-units to adopt standardised accounting practices in order to organise, or more particularly to coordinate, their globally dispersed operations (see for example, Granlund and Lukka, 1998 and Shields, 1998). However, there have been calls for research into the nature of localisation. For example, Robertson (1995), writing in the social sciences literature, called for a subtle interpretation of the dynamics of production and reproduction of locality. In the accounting literature, Baxter and Chua (2003) called for an analysis of whether locals are capable of resisting or mediating the homogenising pressures which result from the ‘travelling’ of accounting systems across interconnected times and spaces in our contemporary world. Chua (2007) also suggested that research should focus on accounting as a ‘situated craft’ (Chua, 2007, p. 487); arguing that this could provide better explanations of how ‘skilful’ practices are constituted locally in response to global accounting systems. The issue at stake in this study is whether global accounting systems, in particular management control systems, are simply reproduced when they are enacted at the local level or, on the contrary, whether they are reshaped and, if so, how and why. Our aim is to explore whether, how and why heterogeneous local practices (in our case, local management control practices) can emerge out of the homogenising tendencies of global (management control) systems. For this purpose, we examined how the managers of a joint venture operating in the Portuguese hospitality industry localised the management control system that was designed and used by the head office managers of the world-wide hotel chain which was one of its parents. The interconnection of globalisation and localisation has been debated in the social science literature (by Giddens, 1990, Giddens, 1991, Robertson, 1992 and Robertson, 1995 amongst others). For instance, Giddens argues that all expert systems, which in his words “[link] local practices with globalised social relations” (1990, p. 79), may be either supported or undermined by the reembedded (local) contexts of action with which those systems always interact. Furthermore, for Robertson (1995) homogeneity (or, in his words, universalism) and heterogeneity (or, in his words, particularism) structure modern life, and thus there is a need to understand how homogenisation and heterogenisation (two seemingly opposing trends) can simultaneously both be features of modern life. We draw on theoretical insights from this debate in the social science literature, especially the work of Robertson, 1992 and Robertson, 1995, to inform our study. In so doing, we conclude that when global management control systems are localised, i.e., enacted, practice variations (heterogenisation) can occur. Moreover, this local variety results largely from the process of homogenisation which occurs as global systems are stretched across local contexts (cf. Robertson, 1995). However, as the focus of that literature is on society level social processes, we also draw on ideas from Ahrens and Chapman (2007) to reflect on the intentions and accomplishments of the individual and collective actors who are “inside” those social processes. We argue that local managers can reshape or reconstitute the global systems to achieve local, as well as corporate, objectives. For this purpose we do not necessarily see global–local relationships exclusively in terms of multinational–national/regional relationships. Instead, the global–local relationships discussed in this paper can occur whenever organizational members (locals) situate ‘global’ systems (such as those of higher organisational levels) to achieve both their own and other organisational objectives (cf. Ahrens & Chapman, 2007). The remainder of the paper is organised as follows. The next section outlines concepts from the globalisation/localisation debate in the social science literature which are central to understanding our case findings. The third section reviews the accounting literature on the localisation of global management control systems, and section four describes the organisation studied. In the fifth section we outline our research methods, then the sixth section analyses and discusses the case findings, and the paper ends with a conclusion in section seven.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
This paper has illustrated the process of localisation through a case study of the enactment within a joint venture (Hotelco) of the global management control system imposed by the head office of the world-wide hotel chain which was one of its parents (Partner M). Robertson’s perspective on globalisation and localisation (Robertson, 1992 and Robertson, 1995) enabled us not only to focus on the key issues in our case study, but also to interpret them in order to enhance our understanding of the interconnection of homogenisation and heterogenisation in global–local relationships. We observed a process of globalisation leading to the standardisation of a global management control system and the subsequent homogenisation of management control practices as it was reproduced locally. However, as in Barrett et al. (2005), we found that the locals (Hotelco’s managers) did not simply reproduce the global management control system, instead they ‘made it work for them’, and in so doing they reshaped it. As a result, distinctive (heterogeneous) practices emerged within Hotelco and they were enacted alongside the global management control system which Partner M’s head-office stretched across its international operations. This suggests that the localisation of global systems can result in, and to some extent relies on, heterogeneous local practices which facilitate the enactment of global systems. In other words, the homogenising tendencies of global systems have to be made to work in the local. While recognising that globalisation is a powerful force, we argue that localisation is just as powerful and, furthermore, it is essential for globalisation. The variety, which is created by localisation (as the global is put into practice in the local), enables globalisation to take place. Moreover, the local retains its identity as it can always differentiate itself from the global – i.e., particularise itself. This is why Robertson (1992, p. 102) argues that in our modern life “there is virtually no limit to particularity, to uniqueness, to difference, and to otherness”. As such, variety (or heterogeneity) is itself an outcome of the process of homogenisation. Furthermore, homogenisation does not restrict heterogenisation; instead to be effective homogenisation depends to a great extent on heterogenisation. But the heterogeneity we observed in the management control practices enacted at Hotelco was inspired largely by the global management control system. Therefore, our study illustrates that heterogenisation does not exist without homogenisation and, as Robertson, 1992 and Robertson, 1995 argues, the processes of homogenisation construct the local. When exposed to the homogenising pressures of globalisation, locals learn from what it brings with it and, where necessary, they reshape/adapt it to the specificities of their context. In so doing they construct the local as unique and differentiated from the global. This reflects Robertson’s argument that localisation is part of globalisation in the sense that the local is in essence included within the global, thereby being a ‘micro’ manifestation of it. It also explains why he uses the term glocalisation to refer to “the simultaneity and the interpenetration of what are conventionally called the global and the local or – in more abstract vein – the universal and the particular” (Robertson, 1995, p. 30). Although our findings are similar to those of Barrett et al. (2005), we interpret them somewhat differently. Barrett et al. (2005) concluded that in their case the localisation of a global audit system was an example of ‘fragmentation’, as well as convergence. For them, the fragmentation was provoked by local practices and local knowledge, which they saw as undermining the global expert system when it was reembedded.15 They came to this conclusion as they drew on Giddens, 1990 and Giddens, 1991 who argued that expert systems are either supported or undermined by the reembedded (local) contexts of action. As we draw on Robertson, 1992 and Robertson, 1995 we would argue that Barrett et al. (2005) and our case both illustrate that global systems may be, and very often are, supported by the distinctive practices which emerge in those reembedded contexts of action. The variety that emerges locally complements rather than necessarily undermines, or works against, the global. Put simply, variety is necessary for the reembedding of global (expert) systems – this is what we see as localisation. Our study also provides insights into why heterogeneous practices (in our case management control practices) emerge out of the homogenising tendencies of global (management control) systems. If we move beyond Robertson, 1992 and Robertson, 1995 perspective on the interconnection of globalisation and localisation and draw on some of the ideas of Ahrens and Chapman (2007), we can argue that the managers of Hotelco introduced variety in their management control practices as they sought not only to pursue the objectives of Partner M and Partner P, but also to increase the revenues and to control the costs of their hotels. In so doing they functionally situated their management control practices. In extremis, we could say that because every individual has his/her own objectives and understandings, independent of his/her level in the organisation, he or she always acts as a local, vis-à-vis some (higher) global level. In other words, he or she has to enact the systems of the higher level, but in so doing can reshape or adapt them. This suggests that we can treat localisation (of a global system) as a broader phenomenon in which there can be multiple locals and potentially multiple globals with diverse understandings and managerial objectives. In Hotelco the managers mobilised the ‘global’ management control systems of both the multinational and the local parent as resources for action in order to achieve managerial objectives. In so doing they reconstituted those systems and this could also happen at lower levels in Hotelco; e.g., in the relations between the head office of Hotelco and the managers of the individual hotels (as in the restaurant chain studied by Ahrens and Chapman (2007)) or even within each hotel. As such, the global–local relationship applies not only in an multinational (seen as global) and national (seen as local) context, but also in other contexts where there is a higher managerial level (the global) which has responsibility for coordinating and controlling the actions of various sub-units at a lower level (the locals). In such contexts there are likely to be diverse understandings, rules, interests and objectives at the different levels in the organisation. Finally, our conclusions have implications regarding claims which have been made about the standardisation of accounting practices. First, as mentioned earlier, Baxter and Chua (2003) called for an analysis of whether locals are capable of resisting or mediating the homogenising pressures which result from the ‘travelling’ of accounting systems across interconnected times and spaces in our contemporary world. We did not see locals resisting these homogenising pressures, but nevertheless we saw variation and distinctiveness (heterogenisation) in the local management control practices. This implies that accounting practices can vary in each context where they are practised; as such they are a situated and skilful accomplishment of local actors – as argued by Ahrens and Chapman, 2007 and Chua, 2007 and Ahrens (2009). Consequently, the particularities and differences in management control practices are not necessarily diminishing as, for instance Granlund and Lukka (1998), suggest. Second, heterogenisation of management control practices is an essential part of the process of homogenisation that is brought about by the stretching of ‘extra-local’ or global management control systems. This heterogeneity in accounting is produced as locals are increasingly exposed to the homogeneity produced by corporate (global) management control systems. Third, it is simplistic to assume that the managers of joint ventures merely enact the practices contained in the management control systems imposed by their parents. This enactment is likely to be accomplished through the reshaping and adaptation of those practices in order to pursue the interests and objectives of the joint venture managers, as well as to support the actions and to achieve the intentions of the parents. In this paper, we have studied the process of localisation and focused primarily on the local practices. A possible area for future research is whether and how the particularities of the management control practices which emerge locally are able to influence/shape global management control systems. Furthermore, as we studied a joint venture, another area for possible future research would be to study how the managers of wholly-owned subsidiaries localise the management control systems ‘imposed’ by their corporate headquarters. In this paper we have illustrated how Robertson’s notion of glocalisation, supplemented by ideas of Ahrens and Chapman (2007), can be used to understand the interconnection of homogenisation and heterogenisation in shaping local management control practices. This approach could also inform such future research.