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Contaduría y administración

Print version ISSN 0186-1042


PORPORATO, Marcela. Management accounting for controlling or coordination in turbulent environments: Their impact on organizational performance. Contad. Adm [online]. 2015, vol.60, n.3, pp.511-534. ISSN 0186-1042.

This study explores management accounting systems' (MAS) effect on organizational performance in turbulent environments. The information generated by MAS has a different impact on organizational performance depending on its main purpose of use (control or coordination) according to transaction costs theory. Data from a survey with 42 complete answers from medium sized organizations operating in the province of Cordoba (Argentina) show that MAS positively impact organizational performance in turbulent environments if used to coordinate up to a certain level. Their purpose of use is better modeled as another independent variable but not as a mediator between external factors and organizational performance. Previous case studies suggested that MAS's purpose of use was mediating between external factors and organizational performance, but this study shows that in turbulent environments the idea is not valid as managers' decisions do not affect uncontrollable external factors (market and technology). Performance in medium sized organizations operating in Latin America improves if MAS are used to coordinate, while limiting their use for control purposes to certain and definite tasks such as cost measurement, compensation and incentive mechanisms.

Keywords : Management accounting; Organizational performance; Survey; Purpose of use; Argentina.

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