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Management Accounting Research


Management; Accounting; Critical; Review; Theory; Practice


  1. Trevor Hopper
  2. Binh Bui




    This paper examines the contributions Management Accounting
    Research (MAR) has (and has not) made to social and critical analyses of
    management accounting in the 25 years since its launch. It commences with a
    personalised account of the first named author’s experiences of behavioural,
    social and critical accounting in the 25 years before MAR appeared. This covers
    events in the UK, especially the Management Control Workshop, Management Accounting
    Research conferences at Aston, the Inter-disciplinary Perspectives on
    Accounting Conferences; key departments and professors; and elsewhere the
    formation of pan-European networks, and reflections on a years’ visit to the

    Papers published by MAR are analysed according to year of
    publication, country of author and research site, research method, research
    subject (type of organization or subject studied), data analysis method, topic,
    and theory. This revealed, after initial domination by UK academics, increasing
    Continental European influence; increasing use of qualitative methods over a
    wide range of topics, especially new costing methods, control system design,
    change and implementation, public sector transformation, and more recently risk
    management and creativity. Theoretical approaches have been diverse, often
    multi-disciplinary, and have employed surprisingly few economic theories
    relative to behavioural and social theories. The research spans mainly large
    public and private sector organisations especially in Europe. Seven themes
    perceived as of interest to a social and critical theory analysis are
    evaluated, namely: the search for ‘Relevance Lost’ and new costing; management
    control, the environment and the search for ‘fits’; reconstituting the public
    sector; change and institutional theory; post-structural, constructivist and
    critical contributions; social and environmental accounting; and the changing
    geography of time and space between European and American research. The paper
    concludes by assessing the contributions of MAR against the aspirations of
    groups identified in the opening personal historiography, which have been
    largely met. MAR has made substantial contributions to social and critical
    accounting (broadly defined) but not in critical areas endeavouring to give
    greater voice and influence to marginalised sectors of society worldwide. Third
    Sector organisations, politics, civil society involvement, development and
    developing countries, labour, the public interest, political economy, and until
    recently social and environmental accounting have been neglected.



    Vol 31, Tahun 2016


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