Strategic Management Accounting: An Empirical Perspective

A straightforward characteristic of the SMA literature is the paucity of empirical research [14]. Actually, most of the literatures regarding SMA were at conceptual level and with a prominent academic emphasis. The main concern is that SMA adoption cannot be measured directly: it is in fact necessary to investigate the adoption of those techniques that can be reconnected to the SMA concept. This is an alternative way to define SMA.

While researching the link between SMA and strategy, Cinquini and Tenucci [15] proposed to define the ensemble of techniques that companies really implement instead of trying to measure the implementation of SMA itself. Cinquini and Tenucci measured the adoption of one or more of the following techniques:

  • 1. Activity-based costing/management (ABC/M)
  • 2. Attribute costing
  • 3. Benchmarking
  • 4. Competitive position monitoring
  • 5. Competitor cost assessment
  • 6. Competitor performance appraisal on public financial statements
  • 7. Customer accounting
  • 8. Integrated performance management systems
  • 9. Life cycle costing
  • 10. Quality costing
  • 11. Strategic costing
  • 12. Strategic pricing
  • 13. Target costing
  • 14. Value chain costing

Actually, organizations hardly understand the meaning of SMA concept; hence, it is easier to ask them if they currently implement some of the above-mentioned techniques and then evaluate if they are de facto applying a SMA approach. Several researchers followed this course: Guilding et al. [16] created a report based on the survey of 12 SMA practices in different countries and concluded that the extent of diffusion was not uniform in New Zealand, the UK and the USA. Fowzia [14] measured the implementation of 14 SMA techniques and in this way measured business strategy and strategic effectiveness of manufacturing organizations in Bangladesh.

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