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Exploiting institutional contradictions: the role of management accounting in continuous improvement implementation
Örebro University, Department of Business, Economics, Statistics and Informatics. (CEROC)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8253-6180
Örebro University, Department of Business, Economics, Statistics and Informatics. (CEROC)
2006 (English)In: Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management/Emerald, ISSN 1176-6093, E-ISSN 1758-7654, Vol. 3, no 2, p. 126-144Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose: Based on an institutional perspective, this study explores the role of management accounting (MA) in promoting or impeding changes in the employees’ conceptions of shopfloor worker responsibility in a company trying to implement a Continuous Improvement (CI) working practice.

Methodology/approach: We use an ethnographically inspired research method where weekly CI meetings in two workgroups were observed over a period of eight months and in-depth interviews with managers and operators were conducted regularly.

Findings: The study reveals that active and skilful exploiters of inconsistencies within social arrangements may use MA as one important way of transforming a traditional vertical view of worker responsibility into a more horizontally-oriented view by: creating collective reflection and reasoned analysis of the limits of the present order; and, by visualizing and justifying an alternative model(s) of social behaviour. However, the study also shows that MA may contribute to the reinforcement of a vertical view by the use of group-level measures strictly as a one-way performance monitoring device.

Research limitations/implications: Arguably, it is worthwhile to explore the existence of ‘institutional heterogeneity’ because our study highlights that ‘contradictions’ between social orders may not only nurture institutional stability, but may also be a necessary (although not sufficient) condition for institutional change.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Bradford: Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2006. Vol. 3, no 2, p. 126-144
Keywords [en]
Management Accounting, organizational theory, organizational change, continuous improvement
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-5707DOI: 10.1108/11766090610670668OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-5707DiVA, id: diva2:173919
Available from: 2009-02-18 Created: 2009-02-18 Last updated: 2019-03-27Bibliographically approved

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Abrahamsson, GunGerdin, Jonas

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  • apa
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