Management accounting : An information tool or a knowledge device ? The manager's perception
Cheffi, Walid (2006), Management accounting : An information tool or a knowledge device ? The manager's perception, 29th Annual Congress of the European Accounting Association, 2006-03, Dublin, Irlande
TypeCommunication / Conférence
Conference title29th Annual Congress of the European Accounting Association
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Abstract (EN)Most accounting researches seem to agree in some or all of the following functions of accounting information : informational, decisional and relational (Macintosh and Scapens, 1990 ; Anthony, 1988 ; Mellemvik et al., 1988 ; Burchell et al., 1980). But, there are remarkably fewer studies that investigate the manager’s perceptions of the importance of each role and explore the management accounting related to knowledge creation. This paper is structured in two parts. In the first, we undertake a discussion of the management accounting’s functions for managers as detailed in management accounting literature. An important issue concerns the degree to witch management accounting can be considered as a knowledge device. We postulate that management accounting, in order to constitute an aid in decision-making for the manager, should carry more knowledge than simple information. The distinction between the concepts of knowledge and information is founded on the Nonaka and Takeuchi research (1997) which indicates the action-generating nature (decision-making) of the first compared with the second. The second part of this research suggests that management accounting would be perceived by the managers of large companies in France, rather as an informational and relational tool than as a knowledge device which is useful in decision-making and actions. To explore this point of view, we based our research in the analysis of 18 semi-directive interviews, with managers of large French companies. The analysis of qualitative data shows the presence of three roles of management accounting (informational tool, relational tool and knowledge device). However, a quantitative analysis of the properties of each theme reveals differences in their respective importance. The perception of management accounting as an information tool rather than a knowledge device remains to be the main representation in the managers’ discourses.
Subjects / KeywordsManagement accounting; roles; managers; perception
JELM41 - Accounting
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