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Title: Management accounting innovations in the UK manufacturing sector, with special emphasis on ABC paradox
Author: Alsayed, Mahmoud Sayah
ISNI:       0000 0004 2697 0187
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2010
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The overall aim of this study was to explore the current status of the UK manufacturing sector in terms of using management accounting innovations (MAIs). Furthermore, by focusing on one set of techniques, Activity Based Techniques, this study aimed to contribute to understanding the predictors of the adoption of management accounting innovations, and thereby, to better understand the more general phenomenon of organisational innovation and management accounting change. In order to achieve these aims a generic stage-factor model for studying MAI adoption and implementation was developed. This model is based on a heterogeneous theoretical framework that utilised three different theoretical perspectives: institutional, fashion and efficient-choice perspectives. The theoretical framework consisted of six blocks of predictors: institutional push, need pull, innovation attributes, innovator attributes, implementation process attributes and environment attributes. Also, organisational innovation theory and literature was consulted in order to identify prior ABC adoption research limitations and, thereby, address them. The theoretical model was customised to examine ABT adoption and explain the "ABC Paradox": apparently low rates of ABT adoption despite the proclaimed benefits that the technique brings. Eighteen hypotheses were developed and tested to examine the relationship between ABT adoption and the blocks of predictors. Data was collected by mail questionnaire sent to all medium and large manufacturing companies in the UK having a minimum of one CIMA member with at least 5 years membership (1,456 strategic business units). A response rate of 11% (152 manufacturing business units) was attained utilising Dillman's "Tailored Design Method" of questionnaire design and distribution. The collected data were mainly analysed via a sophisticated threestage multivariate logistic regression analysis. The results showed that management accounting innovations are relevant and an important means for change. On average, respondents adopt and use 9-10 MAIs. The ABC paradox is found to be related to certain limitations in previous research. By utilising a wide but explicit definition of ABT in addition to the stage model, it was found that almost 72% of the business units in the sample had experience of ABT. The adoption rate was approximately 37% (i. e. ABT was either approved and being implemented or in use). The overall usage rate was 28% while the rate for extensive usage of ABT was 11%. Moreover, this study revealed that the majority of ABT users used ABT on an ad hoc basis rather than a systematic planned basis. Previous studies may not be as inconsistent as they appear when the various definitions of ABT (and scope for misunderstanding) and the routes to implementation are taken into account. In terms of the predictors of ABT adoption, it was found that the key predictors were drawn from three factor blocks: institutional pressures, attributes of ABT and attributes of the innovating company. The final model indicates that adoption of ABT can be predicted by forced-selection, mimetic behaviour, the ease with which ABT results can be demonstrated and management support. Contingency related factors, need-pull and environmental factors, that texts and consultants tend to emphasise when justifying the adoption of ABT are not key predictors of ABT adoption. The absence of both these blocks of factors suggests that traditional contingency models may be under-specified
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available