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Organizational development and transformational learning approaches in process innovations: A review of the implications to the management accounting literature

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  • Seleshi Sisaye
  • Jacob G. Birnberg
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    Abstract

    Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to apply the organizational learning framework to the management accounting literature to better understand why management accounting innovations succeed or fail in organizations. Design/methodology/approach – A theoretical framework integrating diffusion and organization learning theories is developed. Diffusion theory is used to describe the process whereby the innovation is implemented. Argyris' and Argyris and Schon's theory of organizational learning is used to describe the type of learning – single loop or double loop – required by the innovation. Finally, the works of Attewell, and of Schulz relating to organizational learning, and of Rogers and of Sandberg relating to adoption and diffusion theories, were utilized to identify and understand the potential pitfalls faced by managements implementing an accounting innovation. Findings – The paper advances the notion that an organization's approach to learning and innovation should be of interest to management accounting researchers. The single-loop (incremental/organizational development (OD)) and the double-loop (radical/organizational transformation (OT)) learning influences the adoption (stage one) and diffusion (stage two) strategies that are appropriate for the design and implementation of management accounting innovations. Originality/value – The paper makes an important contribution to the behavioral accounting literature by integrating sociological diffusion and organizational learning behavior literatures and relating them to management accounting research.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Emerald Group Publishing in its journal Review of Accounting and Finance.

    Volume (Year): 9 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 4 (November)
    Pages: 337 - 362

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    Handle: RePEc:eme:rafpps:v:9:y:2010:i:4:p:337-362

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    Web page: http://www.emeraldinsight.com

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    Postal: Emerald Group Publishing, Howard House, Wagon Lane, Bingley, BD16 1WA, UK
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    Related research

    Keywords: Innovation; Learning organizations; Management accounting; Organizational development; Organizational restructuring; Process management;

    References

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    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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    1. Gosselin, Maurice, 1997. "The effect of strategy and organizational structure on the adoption and implementation of activity-based costing," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 105-122, February.
    2. Robert G. Fichman & Chris F. Kemerer, 1997. "The Assimilation of Software Process Innovations: An Organizational Learning Perspective," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 43(10), pages 1345-1363, October.
    3. Merchant, Kenneth A. & Van der Stede, Wim A. & Zheng, Liu, 2003. "Disciplinary constraints on the advancement of knowledge: the case of organizational incentive systems," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 28(2-3), pages 251-286.
    4. Malmi, Teemu, 1999. "Activity-based costing diffusion across organizations: an exploratory empirical analysis of Finnish firms," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 24(8), pages 649-672, November.
    5. Gort, Michael & Wall, Richard A, 1986. "The Evolution of Technologies and Investment in Innovation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 96(383), pages 741-57, September.
    6. Banker, Rajiv D. & Lee, Seok-Young & Potter, Gordon, 1996. "A field study of the impact of a performance-based incentive plan," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 195-226, April.
    7. John Bessant, 2005. "Enabling Continuous and Discontinuous Innovation: Learning From the Private Sector," Public Money & Management, Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, vol. 25(1), pages 35-42, 01.
    8. Butel, Lynne & Watkins, Alison, 2000. "Evolving Complex Organizational Structures in New and Unpredictable Environments," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 27-33, January.
    9. Andrew H. Van de Ven, 1986. "Central Problems in the Management of Innovation," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 32(5), pages 590-607, May.
    10. Anderson, Shannon W. & Young, S. Mark, 1999. "The impact of contextual and process factors on the evaluation of activity-based costing systems," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 24(7), pages 525-559, October.
    11. Rui Baptista, 1999. "The Diffusion of Process Innovations: A Selective Review," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(1), pages 107-129.
    12. Dent, Jeremy F., 1991. "Accounting and organizational cultures: A field study of the emergence of a new organizational reality," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 16(8), pages 705-732.
    13. Jensen, Richard, 1983. "Innovation adoption and diffusion when there are competing innovations," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 161-171, February.
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