Title: The impact of contextual changes on management accounting practices: evidence from a government trading enterprise in Australia

Authors: Sujatha Perera

Addresses: Department of Accounting and Finance, Macquarie University, Sydney NSW 2109, Australia

Abstract: This paper examines the way in which management accounting practices in a government trading enterprise (GTE) changed in conjunction with the changes in the organisation|s goals, structure and culture when the organisation was undergoing public sector reforms. Data for the study were gathered from multiple sources including semi-structured interviews and documentary analysis. The study reveals that change in the public sector environment in the late 1980s and 1990s stimulated significant reform efforts in the case study organisation but with varying outcomes. While some of the resulting changes evolved slowly but steadily, others were implemented with some difficulty. Certain reforms failed to take root and were completely abandoned. The study also suggests that the traditional culture of the organisation and the dynamic nature of the structural changes, to a large extent, subdued the effective adaptation of management accounting practices.

Keywords: management accounting practices; public sector reform; organisational context; contextual changes; government trading enterprise; Australia; organisational structure; organisational culture; organisational change.

DOI: 10.1504/IJAAPE.2004.006357

International Journal of Accounting, Auditing and Performance Evaluation, 2004 Vol.1 No.4, pp.465 - 492

Available online: 24 Feb 2005 *

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