Situated rationalities in response to institutional complexity: the role of management accounting practices

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Journal of Accounting and Organizational Change
Citações (Scopus)
de Oliveira F.S.
Mendonca Neto O.R.
Oyadomari J.C.T.
Wanderley C.A.
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© 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited.Purpose: This study aims to explore how management accounting practices act as drivers of organizational change in situations of institutional complexity. Design/methodology/approach: A case study was carried out in a small company with a strongly rooted social culture, which was acquired by a large conglomerate and underwent a process of strategic change as part of a new control logic. Based on this, the study analyzes the evolution of this change, with a particular focus on the efforts to construct the meaning of the performance through the inscription of objects from the cultural system to which it is attached and the “situated rationality” of the managers who are involved in its production. Findings: The authors show how managers link their own concepts of performance to accounting practices. At the same time, the authors show how accounting practices unfold through representational gaps that their production generates. Research limitations/implications: This study acknowledges that bias may arise from reliance on retrospective views of past processes and events, gathered primarily through interviews, documentation and observations. Practical implications: This study highlights that the way in which the performance concept is presented by accounting practices can have a constructive effect on the organization through the aspirations that its representations entail, thus having the potential to stimulate change in organizations. Originality/value: This study contributes to the organizational literature by clarifying that accounting practices drive change by providing spaces for debates and questions that affect the way organizations understand and report their performance.
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