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Strategic management accounting and sense-making in a multinational company

Strategic management accounting and sense-making in a multinational company
Strategic management accounting and sense-making in a multinational company
This paper investigates strategic management accounting in a large multinational company in Germany. Much of the prior research in SMA has concentrated on which accounting techniques are used and in what circumstances. This paper is more concerned with how SMA is perceived and used in practice. The principal research findings relate to the core phenomenon of sense-making. The paper explores just what is meant by sense-making and how management accounting is used to assist the process. A substantive grounded theory of strategic management accounting and sense-making is developed. Sense-making is a basic social process that revolves around organisational actors’ attempts to understand their past, present and future situations. Management accountants consciously and unconsciously undertake ‘sense-making’ activities through the strategies of structuring and harmonising; bridging and contextualising and compromising and balancing. Sense-making is also carried out within both external and internal contexts. In addition, the intervening conditions that have an impact on the sense-making activities were ‘sets of information’, ‘professional know-how’ and ‘a feel for the game’. Two sets of consequences of sense-making were discovered; consequences for making strategy and consequences for management accountants. All these phenomena and their interrelationships are discussed in the paper and a nascent formal theory of SMA is proposed by discussing the substantive theory in relation to broader theoretical frameworks.
strategic management accounting, sense-making, grounded theory
1044-5005
80-102
Tillmann, Katja
228ea3c6-6968-4579-a71c-68f85c9bfb51
Goddard, Andrew
1bee5bd5-13fe-43e5-9c7d-a23acdf431b2
Tillmann, Katja
228ea3c6-6968-4579-a71c-68f85c9bfb51
Goddard, Andrew
1bee5bd5-13fe-43e5-9c7d-a23acdf431b2

Tillmann, Katja and Goddard, Andrew (2008) Strategic management accounting and sense-making in a multinational company. Management Accounting Research, 19 (1), 80-102. (doi:10.1016/j.mar.2007.11.002).

Record type: Article

Abstract

This paper investigates strategic management accounting in a large multinational company in Germany. Much of the prior research in SMA has concentrated on which accounting techniques are used and in what circumstances. This paper is more concerned with how SMA is perceived and used in practice. The principal research findings relate to the core phenomenon of sense-making. The paper explores just what is meant by sense-making and how management accounting is used to assist the process. A substantive grounded theory of strategic management accounting and sense-making is developed. Sense-making is a basic social process that revolves around organisational actors’ attempts to understand their past, present and future situations. Management accountants consciously and unconsciously undertake ‘sense-making’ activities through the strategies of structuring and harmonising; bridging and contextualising and compromising and balancing. Sense-making is also carried out within both external and internal contexts. In addition, the intervening conditions that have an impact on the sense-making activities were ‘sets of information’, ‘professional know-how’ and ‘a feel for the game’. Two sets of consequences of sense-making were discovered; consequences for making strategy and consequences for management accountants. All these phenomena and their interrelationships are discussed in the paper and a nascent formal theory of SMA is proposed by discussing the substantive theory in relation to broader theoretical frameworks.

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STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT ACCOUNTING marpaperfinalfinal.doc - Author's Original
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Published date: March 2008
Additional Information: 1st review
Keywords: strategic management accounting, sense-making, grounded theory
Organisations: Southampton Business School

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 346737
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/346737
ISSN: 1044-5005
PURE UUID: 5d4be75d-c892-46b0-a96a-361be52f4763

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Date deposited: 08 Jan 2013 12:30
Last modified: 04 Nov 2019 20:38

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Contributors

Author: Katja Tillmann
Author: Andrew Goddard

University divisions

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