The societal relevance of management accounting: An introduction to the special issue

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This essay introduces the special issue of Accounting and Business Research exploring the societal relevance of management accounting and locates the individual contributions within this research agenda. In contrast to prevailing, managerialist conceptions of relevance, the discussion is guided by an over-riding ambition to turn management accounting research "inside out" to examine the effects of management accounting practices on a broader range of constituencies and interests in society and the formation of such practices beyond individual organisations. I start by charting the development of extant and emerging debates on the relevance of management accounting research and practice and then outline some pertinent research themes worthy of further exploration. In doing so, I pay particular attention to emerging research illustrating how management accounting becomes implicated in the external regulation and governance of organisations, the shaping of markets and the wider, societal consequences of such processes. I also discuss some theoretical and methodological implications of exploring such topics. © 2013 Taylor & Francis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-103
Number of pages20
JournalAccounting and Business Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • governance
  • management accounting
  • markets
  • regulation
  • relevance
  • researchpractice gap
  • society


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