حسابداری مدیریت نقشه برداری : گرافیک ها و دستورالعمل هایی برای تحقیقات تجربی مبتنی بر نظریه
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|48||2003||81 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Accounting, Organizations and Society, Volume 28, Issues 2–3, February–April 2003, Pages 169–249
This paper provides a summary graphic representation (maps) of the theory-consistent evidence about the causes and effects of management accounting, as presented in 275 articles published in six leading journals. The maps highlight connections and disconnects in the diverse streams of management accounting literature, in terms of what has been researched, the direction and shape of the explanatory links proposed, and the levels of analysis. Some of these connections and disconnects seem likely to be artifacts of the historical development of management accounting research, while others are more consistent with the natural links around and within management accounting. Based on criteria from social-science research, we offer 17 guidelines to help future research capture natural connections, avoid artifactual connections, and develop a more complete and valid map of the causes and effects of management accounting.
As empirical research in management accounting has grown in recent decades, it has employed an increasing variety of theoretical perspectives and research methods to address an increasing range of substantive questions. Separate streams of research have developed, each with its own distinctive set of questions and choices of theory and research method (Merchant et al., in press and Shields, 1997). The various streams have matured sufficiently that numerous reviews have appeared, each assessing the accomplishments and prospects of a stream of research (e.g. Chenhall, in press; Chenhall, forthcoming, Baxter and Chua, in press, Covaleski et al., 1996, Ferreira and Merchant, 1992, Fisher, 1995, Ittner and Larcker, 1998, Shields and Shields, 1998, Waller, 1995 and Young and Lewis, 1995). Questions that remain unanswered are how, if at all, these different streams relate to each other and how complete and valid an explanation of the causes and effects of management accounting the literature as a whole provides. In this review article we take an initial step toward answering these questions. We provide a graphic representation of the theory-consistent empirical management accounting research as exemplified by articles published in six leading journals. This representation summarizes the theory-consistent empirical evidence in 275 studies in nine graphics (maps), providing a compact visual overview of these diverse streams of research. The maps provide answers to three questions about each study: 1. What is researched? For example, some studies research activity-based costing (ABC) implementation, others research the weighting of nonfinancial measures in executive compensation contracts, and others research the symbolic value of accounting. 2. What are the direction and shape of the explanatory links proposed? For example, some studies show management accounting as the effect of organizational characteristics, and other studies explain management accounting as the cause of organizational characteristics, and still others explain management accounting as both cause and effect (different directions of explanatory links). Some studies show that a particular management accounting practice improves performance, while others show that it improves performance up to a point and then makes it worse, or improves performance only in certain contexts or for certain kinds of individuals (different shapes of explanatory links). 3. What is the level of analysis—individual, organizational subunit, organization, or beyond-organization? For example, some studies show how individual attitudes explain individual behavior with respect to accounting (an individual-level explanation), while others show how organizational structure explains properties of management accounting throughout an organization (an organizational-level explanation), and others show how a combination of national culture and subunit management accounting explains management behavior in subunits (a cross-level explanation). The patterns of explanatory links in the resulting maps are far from uniform and unambiguous. Large dense clusters of explanation appear around some management accounting practices and small isolated explanations around others. Explanations of a particular management accounting practice are not always consistent across or within maps. Some explanatory links that might be expected—for example, between specific individual actions and the organizational-level outcomes of such actions—are absent or ambiguous. Problems of this kind are inherent in the study of complex systems. As Simon (1973, p. 23) observes, “To a Platonic mind, everything in the world is connected with everything else—and perhaps it is. Everything is connected, but some things are more connected than others. The world is a large matrix of interactions in which most of the entries are very close to zero.” It is not necessarily the case, however, that dense clusters of explanation in the literature always correspond to natural phenomena that are “more connected than others” in the world; nor does the absence of connections in the literature always correspond to the connections that are naturally “very close to zero.” Some of the connections and disconnects on the maps may be artifacts of the historical development of the field. Some studies, for example, investigate causes and effects of individuals' beliefs about how much their compensation depends on performance compared to budget. Other studies investigate causes and effects of the weight on financial performance compared to a target as specified in organizations' formal incentive-compensation contracts. These two types of studies seem to be addressing very similar phenomena, but they represent different research streams, employing different social-science theories and research methods, and it is not clear to what extent we should expect explanations in these two types of studies to be the same. Should a sufficient explanation of organizations' formal incentive contracts also be a sufficient explanation of individuals' beliefs about how their compensation depends on performance compared to budget, or should we expect the explanations to differ substantially, and if so, how? Without answers to such questions, it is difficult to be sure what are the areas of genuine common ground across different streams of research, what are conflicts and inconsistencies ripe for resolution, and what are irreconcilable epistemological differences. In order to discuss these issues, we return to the three questions that were used to create the maps: What is researched? What is the direction and shape of the explanatory links proposed? What is the level of analysis? We show how these questions have been answered in the management accounting literature and how the answers have sometimes given rise to conflicting and problematically related explanations. We also suggest 17 guidelines for answering these three questions in future research, in order to develop a more complete and valid map of theory-consistent empirical research in management accounting, representing natural and not artifactual connections and disconnects around and within management accounting. The remainder of this paper is organized as follows. Section 2 describes the criteria used to select the studies included on the maps and to construct the maps. Section 3 provides an overview of the maps. Section 4 presents criteria for answering question 1 (what is researched). Section 5 presents criteria for answering question 2 (what is the direction and shape of explanatory links). Section 6 presents criteria for answering question 3 (what is the level of analysis); because the answers to the three questions are not always independent of each other, these criteria include variable-identification and causal-model form issues. Section 7 discusses the issues related to the intersection of the three choices described in 4, 5 and 6 and the choice of explaining management accounting as the cause or effect of other phenomena or both. Section 8 concludes.