Title: Giving contingency theory of management accounting and control a critical edge

Authors: Umesh Sharma

Addresses: School of Accounting, Finance and Economics, Waikato Management School, University of Waikato, PB3105, Hamilton 3240, New Zealand

Abstract: This paper describes the background of contingency theory and some of its research findings, and offers a critique. There are problems with contingency theory, ranging from a simple lack of clarity in its theoretical statements to subtle issues such as its reliance on a statistical model to show interactions between organisational structure and its impacting variables. The paper examines contingency theory from functionalist perspectives and identifies shortcomings of the theory. It is suggested that the narrow view of contingency theory that relies on responses to generally applicable questionnaire needs to be replaced by an approach that takes into consideration the context of specific organisations.

Keywords: contingency theory; management accounting; critical accounting; technology; organisation size; environmental uncertainty.

DOI: 10.1504/IJCA.2019.10025532

International Journal of Critical Accounting, 2019 Vol.11 No.1, pp.16 - 25

Received: 20 Oct 2018
Accepted: 24 Jan 2019

Published online: 29 Nov 2019 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article