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Cost Accounting in Germany and Japan

A Comparative Analysis

Series:

Matthias Moeschler

Cost accounting has developed differently across countries due to cross-national variance in national financial reporting systems, education and culture. Differences in cost accounting impede a uniform and coherent business management in multinational companies. For this reason it is necessary to sensitize practitioners for national specifics in cost accounting. This study empirically shows that significant differences prevail between German and Japanese cost accounting systems due to variances in national culture and the education of cost accountants. It further provides recommendations for practitioners how to install successful cost accounting systems.

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Index of illustrations .................................................................................................. XIX Index of tables .......................................................................................................... XXIII Index of appendices ................................................................................................. XXIX Index of abbreviations .............................................................................................. XXX Index of symbols ................................................................................................... XXXIII 1 Groundwork ........................................................................................................... 1 1.1 Introduction ................................................................................................... 1 Motivation ........................................................................................... 1 1.1.1 Outline of the study ............................................................................. 7 1.1.2 Methodological grounding................................................................... 8 1.1.3 1.1.3.1 Objectives of research in business studies .............................. 9 1.1.3.2 Methods of research in business studies .............................. 11 1.1.3.3 Scientific positioning of the study ....................................... 12 Conceptual delimitation of fundamental terms .................................. 13 1.1.4 1.1.4.1 Management accounting .................................................... 13 1.1.4.2 Cost accounting ................................................................. 14 1.2 Characterization of comparative management accounting ............................ 16 History and working definition ......................................................... 16 1.2.1 Theoretical and practical relevance ..................................................... 19 1.2.2 Convergence and divergence in management accounting ................... 21 1.2.3 Framework for analysis ...................................................................... 24 1.2.4 Research approaches .......................................................................... 26 1.2.5 Issues in equivalence .......................................................................... 27 1.2.6 1.3 Theoretical perspectives for comparative management accounting research .. 34 Theory of industrialism ..................................................................... 34 1.3.1 Contingency theory ........................................................................... 35 1.3.2 Cultural contingency approach .......................................................... 38 1.3.3 Societal effects approach .................................................................... 43 1.3.4 New institutionalism ......................................................................... 45 1.3.5 XIV Contents Historical analysis .............................................................................. 48 1.3.6 Discussion ......................................................................................... 49 1.3.7 Determination of the study’s theoretical perspective .......................... 51 1.3.8 1.4 Prior empirical research on comparative management accounting and implications for the study ............................................................................. 52 Selection of studies ............................................................................ 54 1.4.1 Overview of comparative management accounting studies ................. 55 1.4.2 Review on comparative research on cost accounting .......................... 60 1.4.3 1.4.3.1 Characteristics of the studies ............................................... 60 1.4.3.2 Summary of the research findings ....................................... 64 1.4.3.3 Methodological issues ......................................................... 66 Implications of prior research ............................................................. 69 1.4.4 1.4.4.1 Choice of the level of analysis ............................................. 69 1.4.4.2 Discussion of methodological issues to increase explanatory power .............................................................. 70 1.5 Research design ............................................................................................. 71 Determination of...

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