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Roles of accounting information in managerial work
Uppsala universitet.
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Managerial work has been described as fragmented, action-oriented, and highly interpersonal, leaving limited room for formal planning and analysis. Even so, managers are expected to engage with accounting information for planning and analysing their area of responsibility. Accounting information has, however, been found to be tardy, aggregated, and incomplete, leading managers to rely on a wide set of additional informational resources. Still, managers’ doings and concerns tend to remain largely in the background in much management accounting research, which leaves us with limited knowledge of how accounting information comes into play in managers’ work. Moreover, technologies aimed at accommodating managers’ information needs are becoming increasingly sophisticated, and allow for timelier and more precise accounting information. This gradual transformation of technologies has led to questions concerning how management accounting is practised, and how it is related to accounting information systems. The aim of this dissertation is to identify roles of accounting information in managerial work in order to better understand the link between managerial work and management accounting systems. The dissertation consists of two volumes, each with three papers and a summary appraisal. The empirical material consists of interviews with a cross-sectional sample of mainly first-line managers, and a study of a construction firm including interviews with higher- and lower-level managers, observations of workshops where higher-level managers and staff discuss the management accounting systems, and internal documents. Overall, this dissertation suggests four roles of accounting information, based on its capacity to serve as representation, translation, key and perspective. Essentially, these roles reflect the ability of accounting information to both aggregate and disaggregate “reality”. The potential of each of these roles is shaped by managerial, organisational and technological issues, and is not always easily realised. The potential of these roles is particularly challenged in an environment with many local contexts. By accentuating what makes accounting information more and less valuable vis-à-vis other informational resources, this dissertation adds clarity to the emerging body of literature on managers’ situated use of accounting information, and to the debate on information technologies and management accounting.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Uppsala University, 2014. , p. 77
Series
Doctoral thesis / Företagsekonomiska institutionen, Uppsala universitet ; 171
Keywords [en]
Accounting information, Managerial work, Managers, Management Accounting Systems, Accounting information systems, Informational resources, Construction industry
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-39242Libris ID: 16551179OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-39242DiVA, id: diva2:1366587
Available from: 2019-10-31 Created: 2019-10-29 Last updated: 2019-10-31Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Backbone or helping hand? On the role of information systems and non-systematic information in managers’ work
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Backbone or helping hand? On the role of information systems and non-systematic information in managers’ work
2011 (English)In: Informing Science, ISSN 1547-9684, E-ISSN 1521-4672, Vol. 14, p. 139-160Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Information systems are often described as horizontal integrators, supporting and integrating core processes and providing vast amounts of real-time data in organisations. However, previous research indicates that managers use an “information mosaic” – a variety of pieces of information and information sources, rather than one centrally planned and unified information system – to control their work. In this paper, we explore recurring work activities among a number of managers with different responsibilities and the use of information associated with these activities. The purpose is to put the formal computerised information system into the context of the information mosaic, thereby providing insight into how formal information systems support and do not support these managers’ work. Personnel responsibility is a uniting factor in the way these managers handle information and is an area where information systems seem to mainly support minor activities. Furthermore, the use of formal and informal information sources appears to be intertwined. The main contribution of this paper lies in charting managerial information behaviour in the light of technological development.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Informing Science Institute, 2011
Keywords
information use, information sources, managerial work, management information
National Category
Information Systems, Social aspects
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-39241 (URN)10.28945/1510 (DOI)
Note

As manuscript in dissertation.

Available from: 2019-10-29 Created: 2019-10-29 Last updated: 2019-10-31Bibliographically approved
2. Systems, roles and relationships in the governance ecology
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Systems, roles and relationships in the governance ecology
2011 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-39262 (URN)
Conference
Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management Conference, Wellington, December 7-9, 2011.
Note

As manuscript in dissertation.

Available from: 2014-04-23 Created: 2019-10-31 Last updated: 2019-10-31Bibliographically approved
3. Controlling the unmanageable?: On management control in a knowledge-intensive organisation
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Controlling the unmanageable?: On management control in a knowledge-intensive organisation
2013 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Refereed)
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-39263 (URN)
Conference
European Accounting Association Conference, Paris, May 5-9, 2013.
Note

As manuscript in dissertation.

Available from: 2014-04-23 Created: 2019-10-31 Last updated: 2019-10-31Bibliographically approved
4. Timely accounting information as affordance
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Timely accounting information as affordance
(English)In: Qualitative Research Reports in Communication, ISSN 1745-9435, E-ISSN 1745-9443Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-39264 (URN)
Conference
European Accounting Association Conference, Paris, May5-9, 2013.
Note

As manuscript in dissertation.

Available from: 2014-04-23 Created: 2019-10-31 Last updated: 2019-10-31Bibliographically approved
5. Control questions and the mental construction pace: Shapes of accounting
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Control questions and the mental construction pace: Shapes of accounting
(English)In: Journal of Accouting & Organizational Change, ISSN 1832-5912, E-ISSN 1839-5473Article in journal (Other academic) Submitted
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-39265 (URN)
Note

As manuscript in dissertation.

Available from: 2014-04-23 Created: 2019-10-31 Last updated: 2019-10-31Bibliographically approved
6. Professional accounting and the managerial profession: Diversity and dissent in a construction firm
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Professional accounting and the managerial profession: Diversity and dissent in a construction firm
(English)In: Construction Management and Economics, ISSN 0144-6193, E-ISSN 1466-433XArticle in journal (Refereed) Submitted
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-39266 (URN)
Conference
Nordic Academy of Management Conference, Reykjavik, August 20-23, 2013.
Note

As manuscript in dissertation.

Available from: 2014-04-23 Created: 2019-10-31 Last updated: 2019-10-31Bibliographically approved

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