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Enrolling managers to accept the business partner: the role of boundary objects

Author

Listed:
  • Dorthe Windeck
  • Jürgen Weber
  • Erik Strauss

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Abstract

Prior research evidenced a changing role for management accountants from bean counters to business partners. In their new role, management accountants are actively involved in business processes and decision-making and are considered part of the management team. Managers are equally affected by the new role concept of the business partner as it provides for frequent interaction and cooperation with management accountants resulting in a change of managers’ working practices. At the same time, managers are found to influence management accountants’ roles and practices. Yet, little is known of managers’ interests and reactions towards this new role concept and the way managers may affect the establishing of the business partner. In exploring managers’ perspectives on establishing the business partner at AQUARIUS, a German manufacturer of products for the sanitation industry, this study draws on actor network theory (ANT) in order to interpret and theorize the process of change and innovation, and integrates the notion of boundary objects into the ANT perspective. The study illustrates how the new role for management accountants as business partners diffused through the network of involved actors, supported by different boundary objects, to ultimately become translated. The study displays diverse findings in light of prior studies as managers embraced the concept of business partner and adopted it, but without having adapted it to their interests. Managers strongly supported the business partner and seemed to be the driving force in further diffusing accountants’ new role. Boundary objects aided in overcoming resistance and in aligning the business partner with managers’ interests. The business partner itself seemed to be established as a boundary object. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Suggested Citation

  • Dorthe Windeck & Jürgen Weber & Erik Strauss, 2015. "Enrolling managers to accept the business partner: the role of boundary objects," Journal of Management & Governance, Springer;Accademia Italiana di Economia Aziendale (AIDEA), vol. 19(3), pages 617-653, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jmgtgv:v:19:y:2015:i:3:p:617-653
    DOI: 10.1007/s10997-013-9277-2
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:spr:jmgtco:v:29:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1007_s00187-018-0266-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:spr:jmgtco:v:28:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s00187-017-0247-8 is not listed on IDEAS

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