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The Effects of National Culture on Changes in Management Accounting Systems

Abstract : This study utilises Hofstede’s (1980, 1991) framework to investigate the influence of national culture on the volume of management accounting control systems (MACS) changes, and their location, nature and perceived success. We collect data on French manufacturing companies which are comparable with those collected in Canada (Libby & Waterhouse, 1996), Singapore (Williams & Seaman, 2001) and Malaysia (Sulaiman & Mitchell, 2005). We find dramatic differences in MACS changes attributable to cultural differences. A high degree of uncertainty avoidance is reflected in more changes to controlling systems, and individualism and power distance reinforce this result. A high degree of Confucian dynamism is reflected in more changes to planning systems. However, the effect of culture on changes to bonuses is limited. Individualism explains differences in the nature and perceived success of changes. Belonging to a collectivistic culture limits elimination of MACS, while belonging to an individualistic culture increases the likelihood of addition of MACS. Managers in individualistic cultures rate the success of changes more highly than managers in collectivistic cultures. More specifically, managers in individualistic cultures consider they have been most successful in introductions of new techniques while managers in collectivist cultures think they have been most successful in modifications. Other differences are explained by macroeconomic factors and similar results are observed in the location and nature of change. This study also enhances examination of the heterogeneous nature of change.
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Contributor : Jacques-Olivier Catois <>
Submitted on : Friday, June 21, 2019 - 9:36:24 AM
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Tarek Chanegrih. The Effects of National Culture on Changes in Management Accounting Systems. Asia-Pacific Journal of Management Research and Innovation, Sage Publishing, 2015, 11 (1), pp.16-28. ⟨10.1177/2319510X14565012⟩. ⟨hal-02161760⟩



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