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Strategy, enrolment and accounting: The politics of strategic ideas

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Andrea Whittle, Professor Frank Mueller



Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to use Actor Network Theory to explore the role of management accounting systems (MAS) in the construction of business strategy. Design/methodology/approach: The paper draws on findings from an ethnographic study of a UK-based firm. Theoretical concepts from Actor-Network Theory are used to illuminate the findings of the study. Findings: The study found that MAS acted as an obligatory point of passage into the strategic agenda of the firm. However, the findings also reveal the political tactics used by employees in order to work within, against and around the MAS. Originality/value: The paper shows that MAS are a key player in the political contests that occur during the process of strategy formulation, as opposed to offering a neutral tool for measuring the strategic value of innovative ideas.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Whittle A, Mueller F

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal

Year: 2010

Volume: 23

Issue: 5

Pages: 626-646

Print publication date: 01/01/2010

Date deposited: 24/04/2015

ISSN (print): 1368-0668

ISSN (electronic): 1758-4205

Publisher: Emerald Group Publishing Limited


DOI: 10.1108/09513571011054918


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