THE PROCESSES OF MANAGEMENT ACCOUNTING CHANGE IN LIBYAN PRIVATISED COMPANIES: AN INSTITUTIONAL PERSPECTIVE
Abstract: This study explains the management accounting process in two privatised Libyan manufacturing companies. In addition, it investigates the perception of managers regarding the emergence of new management accounting systems and/or practices. Moreover, it explores the effect of institutional factors on management accounting systems. The research is based on a case study of two privatised Libyan companies. It uses triangulation of data collection methods and multiple sources of evidence, including interviews, observation and documentation. Using an institutional framework from new institutional sociology (NIS), old institutional economics (OIE) and power mobilisation are used to help clarify the processes of change in Libyan companies. The hybrid-institutional framework utilised in this study has aided in explaining, interpreting and understanding effects which have occurred within the organisations, which involve rules and routines and/or external-organisation, including terms of coercive, mimetic and normative isomorphism. The position as mentioned above cannot be described in terms of quantitative approaches. So the main reason behind the selection of a qualitative approach for this was that the important aim of the qualitative approach is to provide an in-depth understanding of particular phenomena, such as management accounting change. Also, the case study strategy has been chosen from among qualitative strategies; this was appropriate as the researcher wished to provide a fuller understanding of the topics of the research. Triangulation data collection methods have been drawn on. The case studies were carried out during two stages of data collection in 2008-2009. The researcher relied on multiple sources of evidence, including interviews, observations and documents and archival records. Semi-structured interviews were adopted. In this context, the researcher had a list of themes and questions, as well as responses of interviewees which were recorded. Participant observation was converged as it is related to qualitative approach and case study strategy as well. The results of the case studies showed that the objectives of the companies have changed completely from social to economic. The study found that there were institutional factors which affected management accounting systems and practice before, during and after the privatisation process. Also, the case studies affirmed that the changes were incremental or evolutionary. Furthermore, the findings showed that there is no current revolutionary change within the management accounting systems and practices in the companies under the study. It was also found that there was resistance to change when the company attempted to introduce an Information Technology (IT) system.
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