Simulation-based research in management accounting and control: an illustrative overview
In this article, we provide an overview of applications of simulation as a research method in the domain of management accounting and control (MAC). According to different perspectives on management control systems, we report on simulation-based research efforts related to (1) management accounting systems, (2) organizational control mechanisms for managerial decision-making, and (3) strategy development and implementation. We find that—though not always labeled as “MAC"—simulation-based research provides valuable findings for the domain of MAC, and allows for shedding new light on conventional wisdom. For example, simulation-based research suggests that when evaluating the (in-)accuracy of management accounting systems, the mechanisms incorporated in management control systems, as well as the broader organizational context, like the organizational structure, has to be considered. We come to the conclusion that simulation-based research within the domain of MAC could, for example, contribute (i) to a deeper understanding of the interactions between the micro- and the macro-layer of organizations as well as (ii) to the emergent properties of management control systems.
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