The Drivers of a Superior’s Trust Formation in his Subordinate: The Manager-Management Accountant Example

Journal of Accounting & Organizational Change, Forthcoming

48 Pages Posted: 10 Aug 2012 Last revised: 14 Feb 2016

See all articles by Christian Nitzl

Christian Nitzl

University of the German Federal Armed Forces - Universität der Bundeswehr München

Bernhard Hirsch

Bundeswehr University Munich

Date Written: December 1, 2016

Abstract

Management accountants are described in the literature as “trust access points” for management accounting systems (Busco, Riccaboni, and Scapens 2006). Because of their heavy influence on managers’ decision-making processes, the working relationship between management accountants and managers is unique and must be distinguished from other working relationships. Based on answers from 446 managers, we tested a structural equation model for different trust drivers. We show that management accountants’ perceived abilities are the key trust drivers. In addition, we also show that the influence of trust drivers in the manager - management accountant relationship changes significantly over time. Whereas in the beginning, a manager’s trust disposition and the organizational context are important in building up trust, in long-lasting relationships only the management accountant’s perceived trustworthiness really matters; this trustworthiness is in turn influenced by the role of management accounting (power) in the organization.

Keywords: trust, management accounting, management, partial least squares, PLS

JEL Classification: M49

Suggested Citation

Nitzl, Christian and Hirsch, Bernhard, The Drivers of a Superior’s Trust Formation in his Subordinate: The Manager-Management Accountant Example (December 1, 2016). Journal of Accounting & Organizational Change, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2127701 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2127701

Christian Nitzl (Contact Author)

University of the German Federal Armed Forces - Universität der Bundeswehr München ( email )

Werner-Heisenberg-Weg 39
Neubiberg
Munich, 85579
Germany

Bernhard Hirsch

Bundeswehr University Munich ( email )

Werner-Heisenberg-Weg 39
Neubiberg, 85577
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.unibw.de

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