Home > Research > Publications & Outputs > The contingency theory of management accounting...

Electronic data

  • Otley_CT_review_for_pdf

    Rights statement: This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Management Accounting Research. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Management Accouting Research, 31, 2016 DOI: 10.1016/j.mar.2016.02.001

    Accepted author manuscript, 393 KB, PDF document

    Available under license: CC BY-NC-ND: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

Links

Text available via DOI:

View graph of relations

The contingency theory of management accounting and control: 1980-2014

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>06/2016
<mark>Journal</mark>Management Accounting Research
Volume31
Number of pages18
Pages (from-to)45-62
Publication statusPublished
Early online date12/02/16
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

This article reviews the literature on the contingency theory of management accounting since the 1980 review by the author. It traces the expansion of this literature and critically outlines some of the major themes explored over this period. It argues that a mechanistic approach that will develop into a predictive mechanism for the design of optimal control systems is misguided. Rather the existence of management control ‘packages’ that are continually changing and developing requires studies that follow these changes over time and seek to explain the mechanisms that are observed to be deployed. The ‘package’ concept has not yet been taken seriously in the design of most empirical studies although this is fundamental to the design of future studies. That is, different elements of control system packages are developed quasi independently by different actors at different times and are only loosely co-ordinated. Full coordination is precluded for several reasons, most notably the rapid pace of change and the addition of new or amended systems at a faster rate than the coordination process can develop. It is suggested that the narrow view of contingency that relies on responses to generally applicable questionnaires needs to be replaced by a more tailored approach that takes into account the context of specific organizations.

Bibliographic note

This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Management Accounting Research. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Management Accouting Research, 31, 2016 DOI: 10.1016/j.mar.2016.02.001