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

Author

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  • Seleshi Sisaye
  • Jacob G. Birnberg

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Seleshi Sisaye & Jacob G. Birnberg, 2010. "Organizational development and transformational learning approaches in process innovations: A review of the implications to the management accounting literature," Review of Accounting and Finance, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 9(4), pages 337-362, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:eme:rafpps:v:9:y:2010:i:4:p:337-362
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    References listed on IDEAS

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