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In search of strategic management accounting: Theoretical and field study perspectives

Roslender, R. and Hart, S. (2001) In search of strategic management accounting: Theoretical and field study perspectives. Management Accounting Research, 12 (3). pp. 255-279. ISSN 1044-5005

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Abstract

Despite being introduced into the literature as a potentially exciting development over 20 years ago, there is still little or no agreement about what constitutes strategic management accounting (SMA). The term itself is open to a number of interpretations, something that is reflected in the varied nature of the research associated with it. In our view, however, SMA is best understood as a generic approach to accounting for strategic positioning. It is defined by an attempt to integrate insights from management accounting and marketing management within a strategic management framework. To date, the attribute costing technique has been the most compelling development within SMA. Its focus on costing the benefits associated with products and their attributes necessitates contributions from both disciplines. The findings of an exploratory field study of practices at the interface between management accounting and marketing management affirm SMA's limited impact on practice in the UK. In those cases where interfunctional cooperation is most advanced, there are indications that a new subset of SMA developments may be emerging as accountants and marketers begin to measure the performance of brands.