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Is the adoption of Strategic Management Accounting techniques really “strategy-driven”? Evidence from a survey


  • Cinquini, Lino
  • Tenucci, Andrea


Several different approaches to Strategic Management Accounting (SMA) can be found in the literature of management ac counting since Simmonds (1981) coined the term. However, there is a little survey research about SMA practice, with the exception of the studies of Guilding et al. (2000) and Cravens & Guilding (2001). The paper aims to enrich the fragmented knowledge on t he topic by a contingency research study based on an internet questionnaire survey on Italian companies. The study focuses on the characteristics at the heart of SMA techniques that may help in classifying and grouping them and on the investigation of vari ables that may influence/explain the use of SMA techniques within companies. Company size, industry and strategy (in the sub -dimensions of pattern, mission and positioning) are the variables considered in the exploration. The findings reveal that SMA techn iques appear to be extensively used. Attribute costing, Customer accounting, Strategic Pricing and Competitive Position Monitoring represent the most widely used SMA techniques. Four features of the pattern of Strategic Management Accounting practice emerg e clearly from the factor analysis: competitor, long run, process and customer orientation. In the correlation analysis only strategic positioning is weakly found to play a contingent role in SMA technique usage, while strategic pattern, strategic mission, company size and industry variables do not provide any results. Such a finding reveal that, surprisingly, SMA techniques adoption doesn't seem to be "strategy -driven".

Suggested Citation

  • Cinquini, Lino & Tenucci, Andrea, 2007. "Is the adoption of Strategic Management Accounting techniques really “strategy-driven”? Evidence from a survey," MPRA Paper 11819, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:11819

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Govindarajan, V. & Gupta, Anil K., 1985. "Linking control systems to business unit strategy: impact on performance," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 51-66, January.
    2. Langfield-Smith, Kim, 1997. "Management control systems and strategy: A critical review," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 207-232, February.
    3. Guilding, Chris, 1999. "Competitor-focused accounting: an exploratory note," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 24(7), pages 583-595, October.
    4. Bromwich, Michael, 1990. "The case for strategic management accounting: The role of accounting information for strategy in competitive markets," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 15(1-2), pages 27-46.
    5. Simons, Robert, 1990. "The role of management control systems in creating competitive advantage: New perspectives," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 15(1-2), pages 127-143.
    6. Chenhall, R. H. & Langfield-Smith, K., 1998. "The relationship between strategic priorities, management techniques and management accounting: an empirical investigation using a systems approach," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 243-264, April.
    7. Bouwens, Jan & Abernethy, Margaret A., 2000. "The consequences of customization on management accounting system design," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 221-241, April.
    8. 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.
    9. Chapman, Christopher S., 1997. "Reflections on a contingent view of accounting," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 189-205, February.
    10. Simons, Robert, 1987. "Accounting control systems and business strategy: An empirical analysis," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 357-374, June.
    11. repec:bla:joares:v:13:y:1975:i:2:p:177-203 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:taf:jsocen:v:8:y:2017:i:1:p:110-128 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Karen Maas & Kellie Liket, 2011. "Talk the Walk: Measuring the Impact of Strategic Philanthropy," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 100(3), pages 445-464, May.

    More about this item


    Strategic Management Accounting; Strategy;

    JEL classification:

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


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