Exploring notions of control across cultures: a narrative approach
It can be argued that the concept of control is one of the most important and yet complex notions of management accounting theory and practice. Despite its importance, it is not fully understood in terms of its significance in an international context. Using an interpretive approach and against the background of structuration theory, this paper explores and identifies differences in notions of control across European cultures. The empirical research is based on samples of narratives of personal experiences taken from respondents in four European countries: Austria, France, Germany and the United Kingdom. The results indicate that control is influenced by, and deeply embedded in, the cultural context of the respective countries. This has implications for the transfer of management accounting and control knowledge across different European countries and suggests that one has to be aware of the existence, meaning and significance of the differences and characteristics of the regional culture. In an era of internationalization and standardization, this paper responds to calls (Hopwood, 1999) for research, which emphasizes the importance of attempts to understand how the practices of management accounting and control are differentiated in relation to regional cultures.
Volume (Year): 12 (2003)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
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