A Critical Review on Stability and Change: an Institutional Study of Management Accounting Change Written by Associate Prof. Dr. Siti Nabiha Abdul Khalid and Proffesor Robert W. Scapens

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This is a critique on the paper Stability and change: an institutional study of management accounting change written by Associate Prof. Dr. Siti Nabiha Abdul Khalid and Proffesor Robert W. Scapens


The purpose of this paper, as stated on the first page, is to explore the relationship between stability and change within the process of accounting change. It focuses on the ceremonial implementation of value-based management and how key performance indicators can become decoupled from day-to-day activities which thereby creates a level of stability which can be ultimately contributed to the accounting change.

Theoretical Framework

This paper uses the framework set out by Burns and Scapens (2000) which is mainly based in Old
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and Scapens, R. (2005), pg 47)
Instrumentally Institutionalised accounting routines are routines that are used to make informed decisions.

Institutions can shape the perception of members within an organisation and so if the proposed change does not align with the existing institutions or perceptions then there can be resistance to the change or it could be translated to conform to the existing institutions.

This paper and Burns and Scapens themselves acknowledge that the Burns and Scapens framework focuses on internal institutions and that external pressures to change institutions cannot be ignored. To do this they draw on concepts such as decoupling which have the perspective of New Institutional Sociology (NIS) but they retain the OIE perspective as their focus is on change within the organisation.

NIS argues that when an organisation is forced to implement new accounting routines by external pressures (as is the case at Eagle) they will separate/decouple the accounting routines from the day-to-day internal operations in order to maintain efficiency. More recent research has suggested that this decoupling is not a given as previously thought but requires some resistance. In this paper they retain their OIE perspective by suggesting that this resistance can be attributed to existing institutions as explained above and that the decoupling is not a result of the organisations original intent but instead a

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