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Management accounting and power: A contested relationship

Author

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  • João A. Ribeiro

    () (CETE, Faculdade de Economia, Universidade do Porto)

  • Robert W. Scapens

    () (Manchester Business School)

Abstract

This paper is structured in two parts. In the first part we undertake a brief discussion on the concept of power and we explore the way this concept has been regarded in several strands of literature on management accounting – the conventional, the contingency, the pluralist, the interpretive, the critical and the post-structuralist. Some of these strands – for instance, the pluralist, the critical and the post-structuralist – explicitly recognise the importance of (some conception of) power in their approach to management accounting in society and organisations. Other approaches are less explicit in that recognition or simply overlook/reject it. The second part of the paper takes sides, departing from the idea that there is a relationship between management accounting and power and proposes a framework for conceptualising that relationship. This framework attempts to bring together different dimensions/conceptions of power, and is proposed as a way to study management accounting and its change within organisations.

Suggested Citation

  • João A. Ribeiro & Robert W. Scapens, 2006. "Management accounting and power: A contested relationship," CEF.UP Working Papers 0611, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.
  • Handle: RePEc:por:cetedp:0611
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    File URL: http://www.fep.up.pt/investigacao/cete/papers/dp0611.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Preston, Alistair, 1986. "Interactions and arrangements in the process of informing," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 11(6), pages 521-540, October.
    2. Miller, Peter & O'Leary, Ted, 1987. "Accounting and the construction of the governable person," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 235-265, April.
    3. Preston, Alistair M. & Cooper, David J. & Coombs, Rod W., 1992. "Fabricating budgets: A study of the production of management budgeting in the national health service," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 17(6), pages 561-593, August.
    4. Tomkins, Cyril & Groves, Roger, 1983. "The everyday accountant and researching his reality," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 8(4), pages 361-374, October.
    5. Quattrone, Paolo & Hopper, Trevor, 2005. "A 'time-space odyssey': management control systems in two multinational organisations," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 30(7-8), pages 735-764.
    6. Chenhall, Robert H., 2003. "Management control systems design within its organizational context: findings from contingency-based research and directions for the future," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 28(2-3), pages 127-168.
    7. Burchell, Stuart & Clubb, Colin & Hopwood, Anthony & Hughes, John & Nahapiet, Janine, 1980. "The roles of accounting in organizations and society," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 5-27, January.
    8. Hopper, Trevor & Armstrong, Peter, 1991. "Cost accounting, controlling labour and the rise of conglomerates," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 16(5-6), pages 405-438.
    9. Boland, Richard Jr. & Pondy, Louis R., 1983. "Accounting in organizations: A union of natural and rational perspectives," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 8(2-3), pages 223-234, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Syarifuddin, 2017. "Dramaturgy Budget Policy Formulation: Intuitive Response of Politics and Power," GATR Journals afr143, Global Academy of Training and Research (GATR) Enterprise.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    power; management accounting; change; circuits of power;

    JEL classification:

    • M41 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Accounting - - - Accounting

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