Management accounting change in a subsidiary organisation

Yazdifar, Hassan, Zaman, Mahbub, Tsamenyi, Mathew, & Askarany, Davood (2008) Management accounting change in a subsidiary organisation. Critical Perspectives on Accounting, 19(3), pp. 404-430.

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Parent–subsidiary relationships are commonplace nowadays, yet surprisingly there is a paucity of research analysing their dynamics over time. This paper presents a (longitudinal) case study, illuminating the dynamics implicated when a UK chemicals company imposed its systems and rules on a new subsidiary. Drawing on observations from a longitudinal case study (from 1993 to 2001), the study considers:

(1) the extent to which a parent imposes its (management accounting) systems,rules and procedures on a subsidiary;

(2) the role which (local) political, cultural and institutional factors in a subsidiary play in shaping the dynamics of such change implementation;

(3) how new systems and practices become accepted and take root as values and beliefs and how they supplement earlier norms?

The study provides insight for the questions above, and draws on institutional theories and a power mobilisation framework to assist in the interpretation of observations. We find that the operations of the subsidiary company are influenced by inter-related forces, both inside and outside the organisation encompassing issues of power, politics and culture. As such, existing institutions in a subsidiary organisation are influenced, sustained, and changed by the socio-economic context in which the subsidiary is located. Organisational practices designed to secure external legitimacy are not however always symbolic and decoupled from internal operations

Impact and interest:

33 citations in Scopus
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ID Code: 79312
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Management accounting, Parent, Subsidiary, Multi-institutional theory, Power, Politics
DOI: 10.1016/
ISSN: 1095-9955
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > ACCOUNTING AUDITING AND ACCOUNTABILITY (150100)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Deposited On: 08 Dec 2014 22:10
Last Modified: 23 Jun 2017 11:03

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