Organizationally Oriented Management Accounting Research in the United States: A Case Study of the Diffusion of a Radical Research Innovation*
Anthony Hopwood has been the enthusiastic innovator of the radical and original idea that management accounting research should study management accounting in its organizational and social contexts, informed by organizational and social theories, using field research methods. This chapter describes, analyzes, and discusses Anthony's innovation and his strategy for diffusing it in the U.S. using four communication channels — his research publications, his interpersonal network with US researchers; founding and editing Accounting, Organizations and Society (AOS); and research conferences associated with AOS. The interpretation of the case study evidence is that in the U.S. most researchers adopting Anthony's innovation focused only on the organizational context of management accounting. This chapter identifies five ‘gaps’ that have limited the diffusion of Anthony's radical innovation in the U.S. Future success in diffusing Anthony's innovation in the U.S. will depend on reducing these gaps.
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