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Legitimacy and Identity in Germanic Management Accounting Research

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  • Martin Messner
  • Calbrecht Becker
  • Utz Schaffer
  • Christoph Binder

Abstract

The notion of 'Controlling', as it is commonly used in German-speaking countries, may be regarded as an equivalent term for management accounting. At the same time, there have been considerable efforts to establish Controlling as a discipline on its own, rather than to regard it simply as the German synonym of management accounting. This is reflected in many writings on Controlling which have tried to identify a possible 'core' or 'essence' of the subject. In this paper, we argue that this identity discourse may be interpreted as a strategy of Controlling researchers to achieve cognitive and sociopolitical legitimacy of their discipline. Drawing on interview material as well as publication and citation analyses, we show how various institutional pressures and constraints not only influenced the institutionalization of Controlling as an academic discipline but also impacted the form and substance of Controlling research. This raises some important questions for our understanding of academic disciplines more generally, some of which we address in this paper.

Suggested Citation

  • Martin Messner & Calbrecht Becker & Utz Schaffer & Christoph Binder, 2008. "Legitimacy and Identity in Germanic Management Accounting Research," European Accounting Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(1), pages 129-159.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:euract:v:17:y:2008:i:1:p:129-159 DOI: 10.1080/09638180701819808
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ackert, Lucy F. & Tian, Yisong S., 2001. "Efficiency in index options markets and trading in stock baskets," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 25(9), pages 1607-1634, September.
    2. Shlomo Benartzi & Richard H. Thaler, 1995. "Myopic Loss Aversion and the Equity Premium Puzzle," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(1), pages 73-92.
    3. Tian, Yisong S., 2004. "Too much of a good incentive? The case of executive stock options," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(6), pages 1225-1245, June.
    4. Black, Fischer & Scholes, Myron S, 1973. "The Pricing of Options and Corporate Liabilities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(3), pages 637-654, May-June.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Thomas Guenther, 2013. "Conceptualisations of ‘controlling’ in German-speaking countries: analysis and comparison with Anglo-American management control frameworks," Metrika: International Journal for Theoretical and Applied Statistics, Springer, vol. 23(4), pages 269-290, February.
    2. Jürgen Weber, 2011. "The development of controller tasks: explaining the nature of controllership and its changes," Metrika: International Journal for Theoretical and Applied Statistics, Springer, vol. 22(1), pages 25-46, September.
    3. repec:spr:busres:v:10:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s40685-017-0046-y is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Julie Demaret & Jérôme Meric, 2013. "La Constitution De La Legitimite Des Controleurs De Gestion : Une Etude Exploratoire," Post-Print hal-00991887, HAL.
    5. Cathérine Grisar & Matthias Meyer, 2016. "Use of simulation in controlling research: a systematic literature review for German-speaking countries," Management Review Quarterly, Springer;Vienna University of Economics and Business, vol. 66(2), pages 117-157, April.
    6. Utz Schäffer, 2013. "Management accounting research in Germany: from splendid isolation to being part of the international community," Metrika: International Journal for Theoretical and Applied Statistics, Springer, vol. 23(4), pages 291-309, February.
    7. Ladislav Šiška, 2013. "The Relation between Controllership and Managerial Accounting," Český finanční a účetní časopis, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2013(3).

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