The Contextual Aspects of Change in Management Accounting Systems in Transition Economies: A Chinese Case Study
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Commerce
The extant management accounting literature shows that there is little consensus on why and how change in management accounting systems (MAS) evolves within organisations over time (Burns and Vaivio, 2001) and especially how the change process can be conceptualised into a theoretical model (Burns and Scapens, 2000). Although Amat et al. (1994) have provided a better understanding of MAS change over time and successfully conceptualised the process into a model using the notion of dualism, they noted that the evidence of a single case study is not enough. However, there has been no further study to extend Amat et al.'s (1994) findings. This thesis resembles Amat et al.'s (1994) study, analysing the progressive formalisation of MAS in a Chinese company: Shanghai Light Industry Machinery Stock Company Limited, during periods of change at both the social and organisational levels. It was found that three outer, social factors (socio-economic condition, competition and socio-culture) and three inner, organisational ones (autonomy, profitability and authority) have greatly impacted on the progressive formalisation of the MAS in the Chinese company during the period studied. Also, the internal effects on the MAS change differ from the external ones, mostly reflecting the increasingly specialised managers in the company having exercised a set of proactive or intentional changes in the MAS within the corporate boundary.