Management Accounting in the Digital Economy

Management Accounting in the Digital Economy

Management Accounting in the Digital Economy

Management Accounting in the Digital Economy

Synopsis

There is mounting evidence that the deployment of digital technologies by enterprises affects not just their functioning in economic terms, but also mobilizes broader social, institutional, and organizational effects. At a technical level, digitization directly influences organizationalprocesses. Notions of its potential also define managerial pursuits and the search for enhanced organizational performance. Inevitably, digitizatoin impacts the form, substance and provenance of internal accounting information with attendant consequences on the behaviour and actions of decisionmakers. Knowledge about the influence of digital technologies on management accounting thinking processes and practices is starting to emerge. A variety of issues relating to pricing strategies, cost management and control mechanisms are evident. But the implications for the field are far wider. Aspects oftrust, organizational power, cultural shifts, strategization, convergence of product and information elements, and newly perceived contingencies between information dimensions and contextual factors are altering management accounting systems, structures, thinking, and practices. This book exploresthese and other issues along different planes of reference. The first part of the book consists of chapters that discuss accounting and management control systems and wider structural shifts connected with the advent of digital technologies. In the second section, the contributors analyse organizationally focused shifts occurring concomitantly alongsidedigital transformations in the economy. The final part of the book comprises chapters that consider avenues of accounting transformation that may be pursued in specific contexts both in terms of practice and as concepts that afford insights into possible management accounting futures. Broadly, thefourteen chapters of this book bring together practical commentaries, conceptual frameworks, and theoretical argumentation and explore wider narratives regarding the interface between management accounting and the digital economy. Management Accounting in the Digital Economy will be of interest to scholars, advanced students, and practitioners concerned with the management accounting and control implications of the growing ubiquity of digital technologies across organizational spaces and economic platforms.

Excerpt

There is mounting evidence that the deployment of digital technologies by organizations not only affects the economics of operational and managerial processes but also mobilizes extensive social and organizational effects. Digitization impacts the form, substance, and provenance of internal accounting information with attendant consequences on the behaviour and actions of organizational participants and on the functioning of enterprises more widely. Knowledge about the influence of the deployment of digital technologies on management accounting thinking, processes, and practices is starting to take shape. This book explores some of the issues that are coming to light.

Developing an understanding of what is signified by the notion of a 'digital economy' holds possibilities for explicating the rationale for action pursued in its name. Even refutation of the concept has consequences tied to what is negated. The term 'digital economy' has been used to capture different significances and has been applied interchangeably with other terms which themselves vary in meaning depending on context. Where it has been written about, the term digital economy is associated with economic changes entailing computer-based information exchanges. The term 'new economy' has also been used to suggest this and sometimes, to include an array of other changes in the nature and functioning of the economy and related social structures and processes. Industrial transformation is regarded as profound in writings about the new economy though there is still 'no consensus as to whether the new economy exists, what it implies and how it differs from the old economy' (Holmberg et al. 2002 : 12). Similarly, economic conceptions of the transformation from the physical assets and products associated with agriculture, mining, and manufacturing to the realization of intangible products are central to writings about the 'information economy', the 'knowledge economy', the 'experience economy', and the 'network economy' (Bernstein 1998 ; Cooper 1983 ; Gilmore and Pine 1999 ; Jussawalla and Lamberton 1988 ; Katz 1986 ; Kling 1990 ; Kupier 2002 ; Liebowitz 2002 ; Robinson 1986 ; Schement 1990 ; Stalder 2002 ; Teece 2002). This is so even though widely varying arguments often underpin explanations of this transformation (Castells 1997 ; Christensen 1997).

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