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Accounting for Managers: Interpreting Accounting Information for Decision Making, 4th Edition by Paul M. Collier

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Reading C

Covaleski, M. A., Dirsmith, M. W. and Samuel, S. (1996). Managerial accounting research: the contributions of organizational and sociological theories. Journal of Management Accounting Research, 8, 1–35. Reproduced by permission of the American Accounting Association.

Questions

1. Contrast contingency theory, interpretive and critical perspectives in terms of how each perspective can inform an understanding of management accounting. What are the strengths and weaknesses of each paradigm?
2. What is the advantage of the ‘paradigmatic pluralism’ that Covaleski et al. promote?
3. In undertaking management accounting research in an organizational setting, how would you determine the methods of enquiry that you would adopt?

Further reading

Boland, J. R. J. and Pondy, L. R. (1983). Accounting in organizations: a union of natural and rational perspectives. Accounting, Organizations and Society, 8(2/3), 223–34.

Hopper, T. and Powell, A. (1985). Making sense of research into the organizational and social aspects of management accounting: a review of its underlying assumptions. Journal of Management Studies, 22(5), 429–65.

Lowe, T. and Puxty, T. (1989). The problems of a paradigm: a critique of the prevailing orthodoxy in management control. In W. F. Chua, T. Lowe and T. Puxty (Eds), Critical Perspectives in Management Control. London: Macmillan.

Neimark, M. and Tinker, T. (1986). The social construction of management control systems. Accounting, Organizations and Society, 11(4/5), ...

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