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The Effects of Environmental Uncertainty, Computer Usage, and Management Accounting Systems on Small Business


  • Ferdinand A. Gul

    (Chinese University Hong Kong)

  • William Glen

    (Griffith University)

  • Alan Ruguang Huang

    (Griffith University)


The motivation for this contingency-type study is based on the notion that prior studies on management accounting systems (MAS) has almost entirely focused on large business organizations and neglected consideration of the effects of contextual variables and MAS on organizational effectiveness or performance of small business. Using a sample of small business (SB) managers/owners as subjects, this study therefore examined the moderating effects of perceived environmental uncertainty (PEU) and computer usage on die management accounting system (MAS)/performance relationship. Performance in this study was measured using the compound growth rate of market value of the firm (GMV) and growth rate of fixed assets (GFA). SB was defined as companies with between 10 and 100 employees. Results using multiple regression analyses and partial derivatives of the regression equations showed that PEU moderated the effects of MAS on performance with MAS having a positive effect on performance under high levels of PEU. In addition, the results also showed that levels of computer usage moderated the effects of MAS on performance with MAS also having a positive effect on performance under conditions where there was a high level of computer usage. Under low levels of PEU and computer usage MAS had a negative relationship with performance.

Suggested Citation

  • Ferdinand A. Gul & William Glen & Alan Ruguang Huang, 1993. "The Effects of Environmental Uncertainty, Computer Usage, and Management Accounting Systems on Small Business," Journal of Entrepreneurial Finance, Pepperdine University, Graziadio School of Business and Management, vol. 2(3), pages 251-271, Summer.
  • Handle: RePEc:pep:journl:v:2:y:1993:i:3:p:251-271

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Gordon, Lawrence A. & Narayanan, V. K., 1984. "Management accounting systems, perceived environmental uncertainty and organization structure: An empirical investigation," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 33-47, January.
    2. Waterhouse, J. H. & Tiessen, P., 1978. "A contingency framework for management accounting systems research," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 65-76, February.
    3. Otley, David T., 1980. "The contingency theory of management accounting: Achievement and prognosis," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 5(4), pages 413-428, October.
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    More about this item


    Environment; Environmental Uncertainty; Computer Usage; Accounting Systems; Small Business;

    JEL classification:

    • M41 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Accounting - - - Accounting
    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance


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