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The role of standard software packages in mediating management accounting knowledge

  • Timo Hyvönen
  • Janne Järvinen
  • Jukka Pellinen
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    Purpose – This paper aims to analyse how cost accounting knowledge is mediated in a large multinational organisation employing a company-wide enterprise resource planning system and off-the-shelf activity based costing software to create a uniform profitability management system within the organisation. Design/methodology/approach – The case analysis is informed by the theoretical notions of dis-and re-embedding of expert knowledge, expert systems and standards. Findings – The results indicate that standardised cost accounting software packages may be useful not only because of their superior data processing properties and technical efficiency, but also because of their usability in overcoming resistance to change. It is suggested that software packages and some degrees of freedom in the implementation process may actually enhance actors' “blind” commitment to the system and reduce resistance to the new system. Originality/value – It is of interest to researchers and practitioners alike how ready-made software packages may be successfully used in implementing the changes needed in the management accounting systems of large organisations. It is also particularly interesting to find reasons why software packages seem to be so useful in driving these changes.

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    Article provided by Emerald Group Publishing in its journal Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management.

    Volume (Year): 3 (2006)
    Issue (Month): 2 (July)
    Pages: 145-160

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    Handle: RePEc:eme:qrampp:v:3:y:2006:i:2:p:145-160
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    1. Chapman, Christopher S., 2005. "Not because they are new: Developing the contribution of enterprise resource planning systems to management control research," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 30(7-8), pages 685-689.
    2. Timo Hyvonen, 2003. "Management Accounting And Information Systems: Erp Versus Bob," European Accounting Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(1), pages 155-173.
    3. Robert Scapens & Mostafa Jazayeri, 2003. "ERP systems and management accounting change: opportunities or impacts? A research note," European Accounting Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(1), pages 201-233.
    4. Lukka, Kari & Granlund, Markus, 2002. "The fragmented communication structure within the accounting academia: the case of activity-based costing research genres," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 27(1-2), pages 165-190.
    5. Ariela Caglio, 2003. "Enterprise Resource Planning systems and accountants: towards hybridization?," European Accounting Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(1), pages 123-153.
    6. Sudhir Lodh & Michael Gaffikin, 2003. "Implementation of an integrated accounting and cost management system using the SAP system: a field study," European Accounting Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(1), pages 85-121.
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