Critical theorising in management accounting research

David J. Cooper*, Trevor Hopper

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract / Description of output

There is a long and distinguished history of critical theorising in management accounting, but some doubt its continuing relevance to understanding modern management, organisations and the world, more generally. We address this issue by showing how three broad approaches to critical theory (labour process, critical theory and post-structuralism) help us understand two major developments in modern management accounting. We review the critical accounting literature in strategic management accounting and new public management to show, inter alia, the enduring value of a socially and historically contextualised view of management accounting that emphasises power and conflict, examines the multiplicity of mechanisms of commodification and is oriented to social improvement. The chapter concludes by identifying some continuing challenges and highlights the achievements of critical theorising in management accounting.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook Of Management Accounting Research
EditorsCS Chapman, AG Hopwood, MD Shields
PublisherElsevier B.V.
Number of pages39
Publication statusPublished - 2007

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • control-systems
  • health-care
  • organizational contexts
  • economic citizenship
  • corporate governance
  • United Kingdom
  • accountability
  • construction
  • government
  • power


Dive into the research topics of 'Critical theorising in management accounting research'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this