Management Accounting Change: Actor-Network Theory vs. Evolutionary Theories

3091 WordsFeb 18, 201113 Pages
Management accounting “lies not only in techniques but also in the changing context in which such techniques evolve; not only in the implementations of techniques, but also the effects of such implementations; not only in one-sided but also in multiple aspects” (Alawattage and Wickramasinghe, 2007). Therefore there have been many bodies of theories that have explored the external pressures as well as internal transformations of management accounting change. The two bodies of theory that we are going to compare and contrast in relation to management accounting and control systems change are evolutionary theories and Actor-Network Theory (ANT) and are both considered ‘interpretive theories’ within management accounting intellectual bodies…show more content…
Consequently before one can determine which has had the greatest impact upon the understanding of ‘change’ within management accounting and control systems, we must examine how both theories have aided ‘intellectuals’ understanding of what has changed in management accounting and why through practical examples. If we look ANT it tends to attract non-human allies through the use of information technology, while evolutionary theory only attracts human allies. This is proven at the enrolment stage of ABC in Alcouffe, Berland, and Levant 2008; they illustrated the use of dedicated software to strengthen the network of actors. In this case of ABC diffusion in France; it success was mainly due to the incorporation of ABC into a dedicated software, allowing ABC to be fully implemented in France and encouraging involvement and improvement from a variety of professors. Furthermore, Hyvonen, Jarvinen and Pellinen 2008 article further amplifies the point with a case dedicated to the implementation of an ABC enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. “Initially the implementation of such a system was evident at Alpha that produced office and graphic papers at 12 locations and in 20 manufacturing units. They attracted
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