Management accounting and corporate governance: an
institutional interpretation of the agency problem
Management Accounting Research, 17, (4), . (doi:10.1016/j.mar.2006.05.001).
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Challenging the dominant economic agency theory of corporate governance with a new discourse drawn from institutional theory, the paper analyses how management accounting is implicated in corporate governance. The proposed institutional theory of agency links the micro-institutions of the organization that are informed by the practices of management accounting with external institutional players and stakeholders. The paper identifies emerging narratives in which the management accounting profession has recognised a distinctive, post-Enron set of sensibilities. Although techniques drawn from strategic management accounting can be adapted to embed better corporate governance practices, the institutional theory of agency identifies tensions between the heroic CEO narrative and the routinization of strategy implicit in strategic management accounting
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