Research on the diffusion of management accounting innovations (MAIs) has grown into a substantial literature which draws attention to how diffusion processes can be fuelled by compulsory regulation. However, relatively little is known about how MAIs interact with wider regulatory processes in society and how this affects the adaptation of such innovations as they diffuse across organisations. This paper extends research on this topic by addressing the questions of how regulators mediate the adaptation of MAIs and how this mediation affects the use of such innovations across regulatees. We explore these questions in relation to the evolution of Economic Value Added (EVA™) as a compulsory performance management system for state-owned enterprises (SOEs) in Thailand. Theoretically, we extend research on management innovations with sociological research, which sees regulation as an evolving and collaborative process that unfolds as an integral part of broader, societal reform programmes. Consistent with this perspective, we show how regulators can fill a key role as mediators by engaging in ongoing consultations with the suppliers of MAIs as well as regulatees, and how this imbues the regulatory standards that govern the use of such innovations with considerable flexibility. We also extend this perspective on regulation by showing how the regulatory standards governing EVA™ were influenced by multiple, and partly competing, reform programmes centred on other innovations. In addition, we show how the mediating role of regulators enables regulatees to influence the evolution of regulatory standards and how this facilitates compliance with regulation and allows regulatees to adapt MAIs to industry-specific regulations and cultural characteristics. We discuss the implications of these findings for the sociological literature on regulation informing this paper and for research on the diffusion of MAIs.
|Number of pages||19|
|Journal||Management Accounting Research|
|Early online date||11 Mar 2017|
|Publication status||Published - Dec 2017|
- State-owned enterprises
- Economic value added
- Management accounting innovations