Date of this Version


Document Type

Discussion Paper

Publication Details

Ken Moores and Joseph Mula (1993) Contextual and Strategic Impacts on the Form of Management Accounting Systems

The authors wish to acknowledge the funding support received from Horwath and Horwath as well as a Bond University Vice-Chancellor's Research Grant. In addition, Apple Computers provided equipment which was invaluable to this project.

School of Business Discussion Paper ; No. 48, Dec. 1993

© Copyright Ken Moores, Joseph Mula and the School of Business, Bond University


Previous studies have shown that both environmental uncertainty and organization structure are systematically associated with the perceived usefulness of management accounting system (MAS) attributes. The evidence to date however has been mixed with some suggesting that environmental uncertainty (PEU) is the dominant driver of MAS attributes while other have suggested that the effects of PEU are indirect through their association with decentralisation. This paper re-examines these associations by examining the dimensionality of these global constructs and by introducing strategy in an attempt to more fully understand the effect of context on MAS. Our results show that while PEU and structure both affect MAS attributes (external, non-fmancial and ex ante characteristics) the pattern of associations is very different for firms that pursue product differentiation strategies than for those that pursue marketing and cost oriented strategies.