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Knowledge Translation in Management Accounting and Control: A Case Study of a Multinational Firm in Transitional Economies


  • Sinikka Moilanen


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.

Suggested Citation

  • Sinikka Moilanen, 2007. "Knowledge Translation in Management Accounting and Control: A Case Study of a Multinational Firm in Transitional Economies," European Accounting Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(4), pages 757-789.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:euract:v:16:y:2007:i:4:p:757-789
    DOI: 10.1080/09638180701706955

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    Cited by:

    1. Utz Schäffer & Matthias D. Mahlendorf & Jochen Rehring, 2014. "Does the Interactive Use of Headquarter Performance Measurement Systems in Foreign Subsidiaries Endanger the Potential to Profit from Local Relationships?," Australian Accounting Review, CPA Australia, vol. 24(1), pages 21-38, March.
    2. Serafini, Giovanni O. & Szamosi, Leslie T., 2015. "Five star hotels of a Multinational Enterprise in countries of the transitional periphery: A case study in human resources management," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 972-983.
    3. repec:bla:acctfi:v:56:y:2016:i:4:p:1041-1070 is not listed on IDEAS

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