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Extent and scope of diffusion and adoption of process innovations in management accounting systems

  • Seleshi Sisaye
  • Jacob Birnberg
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    Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to develop a contingency framework that allows researchers to classify and study management accounting innovation within the context of the literature on the sociology of diffusion and adoption. Design/methodology/approach – The process of innovation in organizations involves two stages: the stages of diffusion and adoption along two dimensions of extent: technical and administrative, and scope: autonomous and systemic. A combination of these two dimensions yields four types of accounting innovations: mechanistic, organic, organizational development, and organizational transformation. Management accounting innovations has been studied using these four innovation typologies. Findings – The paper suggests that management accounting researchers pay particular attention to an organization's approach to diffusion and adoption strategies of innovation, particularly, the extent and scope dimensions when designing and implementing process innovation programs. Research limitations/implications – The innovation contingency framework developed in this paper facilitates the analysis of two important research questions. First, why have some innovations been readily accepted while other, apparently similar proposed innovations have not? Second, why has a particular innovation succeeded in some firms and failed in others? Practical implications – The subject of accounting innovations and change are important to managers. Accounting innovations as administrative and technical innovations are intertwined in performance evaluation as well as compensation systems. Accordingly, they are resisted. Originality/value – The paper's contribution is in the advancement of sociological theories in behavioral managerial accounting. The paper develops a process innovation framework that integrates organizational sociological research in process innovations, particularly in diffusion research.

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    Article provided by Emerald Group Publishing in its journal International Journal of Accounting and Information Management.

    Volume (Year): 18 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 2 (June)
    Pages: 118-139

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    Handle: RePEc:eme:ijaipp:v:18:y:2010:i:2:p:118-139
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    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. Christopher D. Ittner, 2002. "The Association Between Activity-Based Costing and Manufacturing Performance," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(3), pages 711-726, 06.
    5. Hammer, Michael & Champy, James, 1993. "Reengineering the corporation: A manifesto for business revolution," Business Horizons, Elsevier, vol. 36(5), pages 90-91.
    6. 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.
    7. Rowe, Casey & Birnberg, Jacob G. & Shields, Michael D., 2008. "Effects of organizational process change on responsibility accounting and managers' revelations of private knowledge," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 33(2-3), pages 164-198.
    8. Richard A. Jensen, 2001. "Strategic Intrafirm Innovation Adoption and Diffusion," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 68(1), pages 120-132, July.
    9. 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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