Drivers and Barriers to Management Accounting Change
47 Pages Posted: 28 Jul 2007 Last revised: 11 Jan 2008
Date Written: November 1, 2007
Empirical studies report a gap between theoretical concepts of management accounting and the actual practice in organizations. Specifically, there is a virtual absence of literature on the individual factors that drive or hinder the adoption of sophisticated management accounting concepts. In this paper, we analyze drivers and inhibitors of management accounting change from a managerial perspective. Our research model is an adoption of the theory of planned behavior and reasoned action (Ajzen and Fishbein, 1980: Understanding Attitudes and Predicting Social Behavior. Prentice Hall: Englewood Cliffs, NY). Based on survey data of 161 banks in German-speaking countries, we show that management accounting change is driven by board expectations, transparency, and profitability. IT capabilities and behavioral control enable change. Only organizational change impedes the adoption of sophisticated methods. The factors costs and staff do not have a significant impact on manager's attitude. Moreover, in a group analysis, we analyze if the importance of drivers and barriers differs between banks with a focus on sophisticated financial measures compared to banks with a focus on a broad set of non-financial measures. We find that banks which manage by means of financial measures are more profitability driven by board and managerial encouragement. Banks using non-financial measures tend to increase transparency but struggle with organizational change.
Keywords: management accounting, accounting change, bank, field study
JEL Classification: M40, M46, G21
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation