Melbourne Accounting Research Seminar - Dr Julia Mundy

Melbourne Accounting Research Seminar

Deans Boardroom, L12 The Spot
198 Berkeley St, Carlton


Dr Julia Mundy from the University of Greenwich presented a MARS seminar.

Topic: Why and how do managers use workarounds? An empirical investigation into the influence of cognitive factors and management accounting and control systems

Abstract: Managers use management control systems (MACS) to support the attainment of an organisation’s objectives. But when an organisation’s MACS are not sufficient to support their informational needs managers resort to using other systems and processes that are not sanctioned by the organisation. This study integrates the Theory of Planned Behaviour with a typology of controls to explore why and how managers use non-sanctioned alternatives to MACS, referred to as “workarounds”. Data collected via semi-structured interviews with twenty-four managers and informants in a multinational organisation provide evidence of the difficulties faced by managers in obtaining relevant information from the MACS and their subsequent use of workarounds. The findings indicate that managers use workarounds because they regard them favourably when compared to an organisation’s MACS, perceive the approval of others in their use, and possess the capability to use them. The findings also provide evidence for the influence of an organisati on’s controls in facilitating the use of workarounds. The study contributes to the literature by integrating the key individual and situational attributes that together influence managers’ use of workarounds and by enhancing understanding of the impact of managers’ knowledge on organisational control.