Management Accounting Change in a Subsidiary Organisation

27 Pages Posted: 31 Mar 2009 Last revised: 10 Feb 2010

See all articles by Hassan Yazdifar

Hassan Yazdifar

University of Glasgow

Mahbub Zaman

Hull University Business School

Mathew Tsamenyi

University of Birmingham - Birmingham Business School

Davood Askarany

University of Auckland - Department of Accounting and Finance

Date Written: March 31, 2009

Abstract

Parent-subsidiary relationships are commonplace nowadays, yet surprisingly there is a paucity of research analysing their dynamics over time. This paper presents a (longitudinal) case study, illuminating the dynamics implicated when a UK chemicals company imposed its systems and rules on a new subsidiary. Drawing on observations from a longitudinal case study (from 1993 to 2001), the study considers: (1) the extent to which a parent imposes its (management accounting) systems, rules and procedures on a subsidiary; (2) the role which (local) political, cultural and institutional factors in a subsidiary play in shaping the dynamics of such change implementation; (3) how new systems and practices become accepted and take root as values and beliefs and how they supplement earlier norms? The study provides insight for the questions above, and draws on institutional theories and a power mobilisation framework to assist in the interpretation of observations. We find that the operations of the subsidiary company are influenced by inter-related forces, both inside and outside the organisation encompassing issues of power, politics and culture. As such, existing institutions in a subsidiary organisation are influenced, sustained, and changed by the socio-economic context in which the subsidiary is located. Organisational practices designed to secure external legitimacy are not however always symbolic and decoupled from internal operations.

JEL Classification: M40, M46, M47, G34

Suggested Citation

Yazdifar, Hassan and Zaman, Mahbub and Tsamenyi, Mathew and Askarany, Davood, Management Accounting Change in a Subsidiary Organisation (March 31, 2009). Critical Perspectives on Accouting, Vol. 19, pp. 404-430, 2008. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1370774

Hassan Yazdifar

University of Glasgow ( email )

Main Building
Glasgow, G12 8QQ
United Kingdom
+44 (0)141 330 5666 (Phone)
+44 (0)141 330 4442 (Fax)

Mahbub Zaman

Hull University Business School ( email )

Hull, HU6 7RX
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.mahbubzaman.com

Mathew Tsamenyi

University of Birmingham - Birmingham Business School ( email )

Edgbaston Park Road
Birmingham, B15 2TY
United Kingdom
+44 121 4158439 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/schools/business/staff/profile.aspx?ReferenceId=6688&Name=professor-math

Davood Askarany (Contact Author)

University of Auckland - Department of Accounting and Finance ( email )

Private Bag 92019
Auckland 1001
New Zealand

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