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Accounting and strategising: A case study from new product development

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  • Jørgensen, Brian
  • Messner, Martin

Abstract

This paper explores the relationship between accounting and strategy in a context that is characterised by pluralistic demands and high uncertainty about outcomes. By way of an ethnographic field study in an R&D intensive company, we analyse new product development (NPD) projects and the way in which decisions and practices concerning these projects are accounted for. Building upon a practice theory perspective, we find that actors account for the appropriateness of NPD practices not only or primarily on the basis of accounting information, but also by "strategising", i.e. by mobilising different strategic objectives to which these practices are supposed to contribute. We argue that this has to do with the ambiguous demands on NPD and the limits of calculability inherent in NPD design decisions. At the same time, accounting information is not necessarily irrelevant in such a case; it can enter the picture as a general understanding that guides actors' strategising efforts by reminding them of the ultimate importance of financial numbers.

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  • Jørgensen, Brian & Messner, Martin, 2010. "Accounting and strategising: A case study from new product development," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 184-204, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:aosoci:v:35:y:2010:i:2:p:184-204
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    1. repec:eee:aosoci:v:59:y:2017:i:c:p:31-43 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Eva Lövstål & Anne-Marie Jontoft, 2017. "Tensions at the intersection of management control and innovation: a literature review," Journal of Management Control: Zeitschrift für Planung und Unternehmenssteuerung, Springer, vol. 28(1), pages 41-79, February.
    3. Englund, Hans & Gerdin, Jonas & Burns, John, 2011. "25 Years of Giddens in accounting research: Achievements, limitations and the future," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 36(8), pages 494-513.
    4. Emmi Tervala & Teemu Laine & Tuomas Korhonen & Petri Suomala, 2017. "The role of financial control in new product development: empirical insights into project managers’ experiences," Journal of Management Control: Zeitschrift für Planung und Unternehmenssteuerung, Springer, vol. 28(1), pages 81-106, February.
    5. repec:eee:crpeac:v:45:y:2017:i:c:p:63-80 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. repec:eee:ijoais:v:17:y:2015:i:c:p:37-64 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Chenhall, Robert H. & Moers, Frank, 2015. "The role of innovation in the evolution of management accounting and its integration into management control," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 1-13.
    8. Hall, Matthew, 2010. "Accounting information and managerial work," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 301-315, April.
    9. Paolo Collini & Maria Laura Frigotto, 2013. "Management Control Systems for exploration? A paradox and a challenge for research," MANAGEMENT CONTROL, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2013(1), pages 27-44.
    10. Antonio Leotta, 2015. "Capitalizing and controlling development projects as joint translations. The mediating role of the information technology," MANAGEMENT CONTROL, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2015(2), pages 101-134.
    11. repec:iaf:journl:y:2017:i:4:p:66-74 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Marie KUBÁŇKOVÁ & Jaroslava HYRŠLOVÁ, 2014. "Life Cycle Perspective of R&D Investment Management: Case Study Approach," European Financial and Accounting Journal, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2014(3).
    13. Jordan, Silvia & Messner, Martin, 2012. "Enabling control and the problem of incomplete performance indicators," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 37(8), pages 544-564.
    14. Lukas Goretzki, 2013. "Management accounting and the construction of the legitimate manager," Metrika: International Journal for Theoretical and Applied Statistics, Springer, vol. 23(4), pages 319-344, February.
    15. M. Frigotto & Graziano Coller & Paolo Collini, 2013. "The Strategy and Management Control Systems relationship as emerging dynamic process," Journal of Management & Governance, Springer;Accademia Italiana di Economia Aziendale (AIDEA), vol. 17(3), pages 631-656, August.
    16. repec:eee:aosoci:v:61:y:2017:i:c:p:36-52 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. repec:eee:crpeac:v:44:y:2017:i:c:p:59-82 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. François Meyssonnier, 2015. "Les dispositifs de pilotage de la performance en environnement innovant et incertain : étude comparative de huit startups," Working Papers hal-01147206, HAL.

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