Knowledge Translation in Management Accounting and Control: A Case Study of a Multinational Firm in Transitional Economies
This paper explores the knowledge transfer between a Western head office and its subsidiaries in the former Soviet Union with a focus on accounting-related knowledge. A framework of knowledge translation (Choi and Eriksson, Business Network Learning, pp. 69-88 (Amsterdam: Pergamon, 2001)) is applied and refined to structure the results, which show the development of the management accounting and control system in the knowledge translation process. The role of accounting as a mediator changes in the different phases of the process and accounting itself also translates due to local discretion. At the very beginning of the cooperation the role of accounting is emphasised in order to ensure satisfactory reporting, but personal cooperation within the matrix structure mainly replaces accounting in the intensive knowledge translation. Social capital is created in the translation phase, enabling later on local autonomy and head office's control at a distance based on accounting numbers. Thus the results suggest that management control through accounting information alone, without active channels for personal contacts, may not work in the former Soviet Union because of the prevailing business traditions and personal networking.
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Volume (Year): 16 (2007)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
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