Article

Inertia and Management Accounting Change; The Role of Ambiguity and Contradiction Between Formal Rules and Routines

Accounting Auditing & Accountability Journal (Impact Factor: 1.1). 06/2009; 22(July):736-761. DOI: 10.1108/09513570910966351
Source: RePEc

ABSTRACT

Purpose – This paper aims to investigate ways in which inertia obstructs the adoption of new management accounting rules. Drawing on the view of management accounting as organisational rules and routines, it aims to suggest various ways in which inertia can become more pronounced when new accounting rules challenge existing routines. Design/methodology/approach – A longitudinal case study was conducted at one of the largest banks in The Netherlands. This bank introduced a program called “Results Oriented Management”, which produced various new management accounting rules. Findings – The paper identifies various ways in which inertia manifested itself when new management accounting rules were introduced. Moreover, the paper shows that ambiguity and contradictions play an important role in the presence of inertia. Research limitations/implications – The identification of individual-level habits and scripts is a difficult undertaking. Through a focus on the performative and ostensive aspects of routines, some of the processes of inertia and change on an individual level are identified. This is a relevant method for students of management accounting change. Originality/value – Although it is well known that routines can produce inertia, the process by which this inertia is manifested and how this affects the adoption of new management accounting rules is still unclear. The paper aims to contribute to this understanding.

1 Follower
 · 
29 Reads
  • Source
    • "Organizations typically rely on procedural logics rather than consequential ones, and well-established procedures create obstacles to organizational change (Cyert and March 1963, Nelson and Winter 1982). The content of organizational memory—procedures, scripts, discourse, routines, and shared organizational culture—provides the source of inertia (Gilbert 2005, van der Steen 2009, Naslund and Pemer 2012). The more extensive the content, the stronger the inertial pressure. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This paper proposes a distance-based characterization of age-related structural inertia as an increasing constraint on the speed of change as organizations age. Our framework regards organizations as points in multidimensional metric spaces of architectures. Organizational change means movement in this space. The speed of change is the ratio of the distance between positions in a space and the time it took for the organization to make the move. We illustrate how our distance-based approach can be used to formulate theories of age-related organizational inertia by using this representation to develop a model for a possible mechanism: age-related cultural resistance to change based on the dynamics of exposure of organizational members to architectural features. Our proposed mechanism is distinct from prevailing explanations and leads to new predictions. We also illustrate the value of our distance-based approach in a reanalysis of Sørensen and Stuart’s study of age variations in firms’ patenting behavior [Sørensen JB, Stuart TE (2000) Aging, obsolescence, and organizational innovation. Admin. Sci. Quart. 45(1):81–112]. On the basis of patent citations, we construct a space that allows us to characterize the positions of organizations and the speed at which they change. We find that organizational age has a negative effect on the speed of change.
    Full-text · Article · May 2015 · Organization Science
  • Source
    • "Since the publication of the Burns and Scapens (2000) framework, which was offered as a starting point for researchers interested in studying management accounting change, more researchers have drawn on insights from OIE in order to explain the processes of management accounting change (e.g. Busco et al., 2006; Nor-Aziah & Scapens, 2007; Ribeiro & Scapens, 2004; Siti-Nabiha & Scapens, 2005; Soin, Seal, & Cullen, 2002; Van der Steen, 2009, 2011; Youssef, 2013; Yazdifar et al., 2008). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: El presente estudio es un ensayo longitudinal en profundidad que se dirigió dentro de una organización pública de Portugal, el servicio de correos portugués, donde se pusieron en práctica dos novedades en la contabilidad de gestión. El objetivo de una de las innovaciones—los balances de resultados—fue justificar los resultados financieros de las múltiples áreas dentro de la organización, que pudieran traspasarse a sus elementos básicos. El objetivo de la segunda—los indicadores clave de rendimiento—fue proporcionar indicadores para realizar un seguimiento de la productividad empresarial. Estas novedades no se pusieron en práctica conforme a lo planeado, lo que me brindó la oportunidad de explicar la brecha existente entre sus normas y sus rutinas. Para hacerlo, basé este estudio en la literatura sobre los cambios en la contabilidad de gestión, inspirada en la economía institucional original (EIO). Siguiendo una estrategia de recopilar asuntos de más de una teoría, el presente estudio contribuye a la literatura sobre los cambios en la contabilidad de gestión inspirada en la economía institucional original (EIO) con la demostración de que, si se quiere ampliar nuestro conocimiento acerca de cómo las innovaciones en contabilidad de gestión están (o no) siendo puestas en práctica, las cuestiones de confianza y poder deberían analizarse de manera conjunta y no por separado. Asimismo, se demuestra también que las presiones internas y externas, o la ausencia de las mismas, deben ser tenidas en cuenta durante el proceso y no solo para explicar las etapas iniciales de las innovaciones en contabilidad de gestión. El estudio arroja igualmente ideas prácticas para aquellos que quieran modificar las prácticas de contabilidad de gestión en el ámbito de una organización.
    Preview · Article · Jun 2014 · Revista de Contabilidad
  • Source

    Preview · Article · Jan 2011
Show more