Management Accounting Theory Revisited: Seeking to Increase Research Relevance

Khaldoon Al-Htaybat, Larissa von Alberti-Alhtaybat


Management accounting research has recently been suffering, as its relevance is being seriously questioned. For academic research output to be relevant it should gain scholars' attention and have an impact upon practice, and should address groups with interests beyond the managerial elite. For this a theoretical approach needs to be adopted that addresses the various societal elements that organisations should engage with, such as the environment and social aspects. The theory derives from existing theories used in accounting. However, to gain and maintain relevance with regard to practice, the theory needs to be built based on empirical input from practicing accountants. Thus, several mini- case studies of accountants in practice were undertaken in order inform the theoretical framework. The definitions of management accounting, theory and practice are revisited to discuss the diverse approaches to theories in management accounting. Recommendations for future research are to apply the framework in positivist and interpretive studies.

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