Management accounting systems and organizational configuration: A life-cycle perspective

Ken Moores, Susana Yuen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterResearchpeer-review


This study adopts a configurational approach that captures possiblevariables (strategy, structure, leadership and decision-making styles) andtheir relationships with management accounting systems (MAS) from anorganizational life-cycle perspective. Using Miller and Friesen’s life-cyclemodel (Miller, D., & Friesen, P.H. (1983). 'Successful and unsuccessfulphases of the corporate life cycle', Organization studies, 339-356; Miller, D.,Friesen, P. H. (1984). A' longitudinal study of the corporate life cycle',Management Science, 1161-1183), a set of hypotheses were tested with datafrom mail survey and field studies of firms in the clothing and footwearindustry. Results indicated that MAS formality changed to complementorganizational characteristics across life-cycle stages. In uncovering howand why MAS formality changed during organizational development, ourresults indicate that it is growth firms that pay particular attention toincreasing the formality of their MAS. Furthermore, between stages, it is theselection of management accounting tools that dominates the presentation ofinformation in explaining the different MAS life-cycle stage designs. Whilebased on cross-sectional data, the homogeneity of organizationalconfigurations at each life-cycle stage does suggest that these results imply alongitudinal development of MAS.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUnderstanding family enterprise
Subtitle of host publicationA book of readings
EditorsK Moores, J B Craig
Place of PublicationRobina
PublisherBond University Press
Number of pages47
ISBN (Print)978098061747
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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