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Management Accounting Research


Interfirm relationships; Intrafirm management accounting; Management control; Boundary spanners


Henri C. Dekker




  Over the past two decades, accounting researchers have shown
significant interest in interfirm relationships; in particular in the
implications for management accounting and control practices to manage these
relationships. Analysis of the growing literature on interfirm management
accounting suggests this is developing largely independently from the
literature on accounting and control in intrafirm settings, with only limited
recognition of potential interrelations. A key reason for this seems to relate
to the different types of research questions and related levels of analysis
that studies in these areas focus on. Particularly, while intrafirm studies
focus primarily on questions related to units, people, practices and processes
within organizations, interfirm studies focus predominantly on questions
related to the management of collaboration with partner firms and of partner
behavior. This paper reviews how intrafirm and interfirm management accounting
research to date connect, and how they could connect better. The review
identifies three areas of connection that are addressed to only a limited extent
by prior research: (1) management accounting within interfirm
relationships aimed at aligning the interests and actions of boundary spanners,
(2) interrelations between intrafirm and interfirm management accounting, and
(3) the use of intrafirm management control frameworks to analyze interfirm
control. For each of these areas, the paper reviews insights obtained from
prior studies and offers directions for future research.


Vol 31, Tahun 2016


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