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Making Business Partners: A Case Study on how Management Accounting Culture was Changed

  • Marko Jarvenpaa
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    There has been a lot of debate on the new business-oriented role of management accountants during recent years. This paper examines how a case company is trying to change its management accounting culture in practice. Furthermore, it illustrates how accounting practices are woven into the cultural fabric of an organization and the great diversity of practices constituting its business orientation. This longitudinal case study explores and theorizes the multiple cultural change interventions related to management accounting, including how the case company reorganized the management accounting organization, implemented new accounting systems and innovations, pursued a new kind of human resource management (recruitment, training and career planning policies) and set the official corporate values in order to support this change. The deepened decentralization of the business controller function, combined with the effective and increasingly centralized basic accounting systems (such as ERP and consolidation packages) and HRM management, were of high importance in establishing the new business orientation. Moreover, informal interventions such as the role modelling and directing of personal attention - carried out by the top management and top financial executives - and storytelling, contributed to the constitution of cultural practices. Thus, the potential power of these informal change interventions and mechanisms should not be underestimated, with further research being, in fact, in great need. As its major theoretical development, at the end of the report, this study introduces a systematic framework of the cultural change interventions related to management accounting.

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    Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal European Accounting Review.

    Volume (Year): 16 (2007)
    Issue (Month): 1 ()
    Pages: 99-142

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    Handle: RePEc:taf:euract:v:16:y:2007:i:1:p:99-142
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