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Did Kaplan and Johnson get it right?

Did Kaplan and Johnson get it right?

Otley, David (2008) Did Kaplan and Johnson get it right? Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, 21 (2). pp. 229-239. ISSN 0951-3574 (doi:

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Purpose: This paper sets out a conceptual structure for the study of performance management systems which subsumes one major aspect of management accounting activity, namely performance evaluation and control.

Approach: A review of management accounting practices and change over the past twenty years, to give insight into how research can become more fruitful in the future.

Findings: Management accounting is argued to be an unhelpful conceptual category in developing insight and theories in the field of organizational control practices. A wider framework is proposed that has fewer limitations.

Practical implications: Many of the practical implications have already been observed in organizational practices; for academic research, the practical implication is the need to move beyond the confines of an artificial management function and seek to establish a more appropriate basis for theorisation.

Originality / value: The paper gives guidelines and criteria for evaluating the likely contribution of different research approaches. It is hoped that these will be helpful in encouraging researchers to move outside conventional boundaries in developing fresh approaches to understanding long-standing issues and practices.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: [1] First published: 2008. [2] Published as: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, (2008), Vol. 21, (2), pp. 229-239. In: Special Issue: Into the light and engagement: 20 years of the AAAJ. [3] This is the text of a plenary address given to the 5th Asia Pacific Interdisciplinary Research on Accounting Conference, Auckland, July 2007, which has been subject to review before publication, but which retains the style of a spoken address.
Uncontrolled Keywords: control systems, management accounting, performance management systems
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5601 Accounting
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Business > Department of Accounting & Finance
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2016 09:24

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