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Organisational change, outsourcing and the impact of management accounting

Smith, Julia A. and Morris, Jonathan and Ezzamel, Mahmoud (2005) Organisational change, outsourcing and the impact of management accounting. British Accounting Review, 37 (4). pp. 415-441. ISSN 0890-8389

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New empirical evidence is presented on organisational change, outsourcing and the impact on management accounting in three types of organisations: private sector companies, the National Health Service and Local Authorities. Spearman rank correlations are used to examine three propositions: that (i) change in organisational form exists and may be related to an increased use of outsourcing or subcontracting; (ii) outsourcing is expected to improve organisational flexibility and/or the service of an activity, to lead to cost savings, or to allow the organisation to focus more clearly on its core business; and (iii) outsourcing promotes change in management accounting. Statistical support is found for each of our three propositions. This is further supported by reference to three illustrative case studies. Overall, we conclude that organisational change, as effected by the use of outsourcing, is related to specific changes in the organisations' management accounting systems.