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Über dieses Buch

This book explores the role of politics in cost accounting change. Empirical research sheds new light on how the macro-political dynamics of the state can underpin micro-level changes in an organisation’s cost management practices. Taking an Egyptian state-owned enterprise as its case study, chapters explore the political evolution of these practices and how they became a political and consequently strategic imperative. The author examines the roles played by neoliberal political reform, re-privatisation, modernisation and state budget reform in relation to micro level changes in cost management practices. Readers are invited to learn about the public sector cost management practices and the changes that have taken place in various political, cultural, economic, and organisational settings.



1. Overview

This chapter provides an overview of the book in terms of its aims, problems, methodology, theory and its organisation. Here, the precedent literature is reviewed in order to establish the academic significance of studying cost management practices vis-à-vis their wider politico-economic and institutional settings. This chapter also discusses the methodological necessity of conducting in-depth field studies into micro-level practices of cost management in organisations, while also providing a historical analysis of wider structural change. It juxtaposes these two aspects in order to explain micro practices vis-à-vis macro structural change. Thus, the chapter highlights the key issues by providing the historical background of recent neoliberal political crises and reforms in the business environment; it examines this wider dynamic in the context of micro-level cost management change. The chapter provides the background to the theoretical framework extended and outlines the methodological approach, that is, the ‘extended case method’, together with a summary of data collection sources.

Loai Alsaid

2. From Costing to Cost Management: How Cost Management Became a Strategic Imperative

This chapter provides a historical narrative of how cost accounting and management practices evolved in a dialectical relationship with the evolution of capitalism in the West, which is the point of departure and geo-political comparison area for the research. This chapter highlights early practices of cost accounting and internal contracting in the pre-capitalist phase. It then moves gradually to the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, when micro-level practices of budgeting, cost standards and family management at the level of the organisation were located in the macro regime of industrial capitalism. The chapter concludes with an examination of the strategic management and cost management practices that emerged alongside post-industrial capitalism.

Loai Alsaid

3. Institutional Extensions for the Extra- and Intra-organisational Dynamics of Cost Management Change

This chapter establishes the theoretical framework that is used to analyse the empirical data. This framework draws mainly on NIS, especially Dillard, J., Rigsby, J., and Goodman, C. (2004. The making and remaking of organisation context: Duality and the institutionalisation process. Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal. 17(4): 506–542) model, although it also draws on Burns and Scapens’s (2000. Conceptualising management accounting change: An institutional framework. Management Accounting Research. 11: 3–25) OIS model. This chapter explains how the triangulation of old and new institutional analysis can bring about a fuller investigation of cost management practices with simultaneous reference to their macro and micro dynamics. While NIS allows us to theorise the macro–micro connection, OIS complements this connection by enabling us to theorise the intra-organisational dynamics of cost management change.

Loai Alsaid

4. An Extended Case Study

This chapter provides (a) a review of the methodologies and methods deployed in the precedent cost management research and (b) justification of the extended case method used in the present work. It explains the ontological, epistemological and methodological approach taken here, and the specific data collection methods used.

Loai Alsaid

5. History: The Politico-legal Construction of the Organisational Field

This chapter discusses the political and field-level dynamics of cost management with particular attention paid to the key political reforms that shaped organisational field practices in the recent past: for example, in terms of (re)privatisation, modernisation and state budget reform. This analysis establishes the macro historical context in which the organisational field operated; it explores how the field evolved over time alongside the macro change occurring at the level of the political state. Thus, this chapter establishes the historical context within which change occurred at the (micro)-organisational level.

Loai Alsaid

6. The Intra-organisational Dynamics of Cost Management Change

This chapter explains the structural and managerial changes that took place in response to macro-level political reform. It explores the structural changes, that is, the ways in which the ownership and administrative structure was changed, as well as how the managerial orientation moved from being an administrative regime to a marketing regime. Alongside an analysis of the moves towards (re)privatisation, this chapter illustrates the historical transformation from an operational to a more market-driven orientation. It discusses the macro-level changes wrought by modernisation that accompanied the micro-level changes through the ERP implementation. Finally, the chapter addresses the impact of macro-level budget reform in terms of the legitimacy and practices of the new performance-based budget.

Loai Alsaid

7. From Costing to Cost Management: Intra-organisational Changes in Cost Management Practices

This chapter deals with developments in cost management practices and technologies and the ways in which they have been institutionalised. It explains the changes in cost management practices that accompanied the wider political reforms of the state and how such reforms were instrumental in changing the intra-organisational structures, processes and practices from costing to cost management. This chapter also discusses how each macro political reform of (re)privatisation, modernisation and the budget has been institutionalised into a durable set of micro cost management practices, which have included radical changes in cost estimation planning, calculation, allocation, measurement, reporting and control.

Loai Alsaid

8. Discussion

This provides a discussion of the institutional dynamics that were explored over the course of the previous chapters at economic and political, organisational field and organisational levels. This penultimate chapter also explains the role of the institutional macro-micro dynamics, supported by military power, in the successful changes made to organisational cost management practices. It discusses the findings alongside relevant accounting literature in terms of politics of cost management change, power relations and a culture of fear imposed by the military management of the state and that governed changes in cost management structures, processes and practices.

Loai Alsaid

9. Conclusion

The concluding chapter summarises the ‘conclusions’ in a manner which particularly aims to advance both the theoretical and empirical contributions of this book. This chapter also illuminates limitations and related suggestions for future directions, briefly outlining an extension of Dillard, J., Rigsby, J., and Goodman, C. (2004. The making and remaking of organisation context: Duality and the institutionalisation process. Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal. 17(4): 506–542) basic model to incorporate more recent institutional works, addressing in detail internal conflicts and, last but not least, exploring the intervention of the military in the management accounting practices in less developed countries.

Loai Alsaid


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