Management accounting innovation and perceptions of innovation attributes: The case of activity-based techniques

Al-Sayed, Mahmoud and Dugdale, David (2011) Management accounting innovation and perceptions of innovation attributes: The case of activity-based techniques. -


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Innovation research has been criticized for failure to carefully specify innovation attributes. This has led to inconsistent findings, problems in making cross-study comparisons and difficulty in generalizing findings. This paper addresses these issues in management accounting innovation research by focusing specifically on activity-based techniques (ABT). ABT are a multifaceted phenomenon, reflected, in this study, by a wide definition and a multi-stage model of ABT implementation. A survey-based instrument is developed to identify ABT adopters and non-adopters and to measure seven innovation attributes. Logistic regression is employed to identify which attributes are predictors of ABT adoption and three are shown to be significant: perceived compatibility; ease of use and, most importantly, result demonstrability.

A sophisticated model of ABT implementation, the use of pre and post survey interviews and careful survey design reveal that: (1) a minority of business units have to adopt ABT because it is imposed on them and (2) variations in the definition of ABT can lead to a wide range of reported adoption rates. Almost 72% of the business units had some experience of ABT and the overall usage rate was 28%. However, only 11% claimed extensive usage of ABT. These results help to explain the wide disparity in previous research findings. They also have implications for the “ABC Paradox”: If ABC has such benefits why is it not more widely adopted? If a wide definition of ABT is employed most businesses do claim experience of it and the paradox may result from a relatively narrow definition of ABT rather than limitations in the technique itself.

Item Type: Article
ISSNs: 1044-5005
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
H Social Sciences > HG Finance
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Management
ePrint ID: 192741
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
28 June 2011Submitted
Date Deposited: 07 Jul 2011 12:21
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 13:42

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