The Evolution and Development of Management Accounting Theories and Practices: A Review of Theoretical Frameworks

  • Dr. Confidence Iyenhen Department of Accountancy, Faculty of Management Sciences, Niger Delta University, Wilberforce Island, Bayelsa State
  • Miekpo Stanley Sabit Department of Accountancy, Faculty of Management Sciences, Niger Delta University, Wilberforce Island, Bayelsa State
Keywords: Evolution of management accounting, management accounting theories, strategic financial management, agency theory, contingency theory, strategic management accounting


This study tries to illustrate how management accounting concepts and practices have developed. Towards this end, we choose to read scholarly works. As part of our research, we looked into the background of management accounting and zeroed in on the development of the management control structure. To further understand the background and practical utility of management accounting, we also examined pre-existing ideas in the field. The ultimate purpose of this study is to serve as a guide for academics and students by detailing the development of management accounting theory and the practices that have led to its current status. The study does more than just describe the many management accounting theories already out there; it also analyses the major criticisms levelled against each, providing a foundation for additional study.


1. Armitage, H. M. and Scholey, C. (2006). Management Accounting Guideline. Using Strategy Maps to Drive Performance, The Society of Management Accountants of Canada, The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants.
2. Anita, A. (2000). Management Accounting Change. Management Accounting, pp 54-56.
3. Anthony, R. & Govindarajan, V. (2007). Management controlled System.
4. Antle, R. & Demski, J. (1988). The Controllability Principle in Responsibility Accounting, The accounting review, 63(4) pp 700-718.
5. Antle, R. and M. Eppen (1985) Capital Rationing and Organisational Slack in Capital Budgeting.
6. Artkinson, A. (1989). Financial and Management Accounting; the Odd Couple. CMA Magazine, Dec/Jan, pp. 42-46.
7. Banker, R., Datar and Kekre (1988). Relevant Costs, Congestion and Stochasticity in Production Environments. Journal of Accounting and Economics, 10, pp. 171-197.
8. Boer, G. (2000). Management Accounting Education; Yesterday, today and tomorrow. Issues in Accounting Education, Pp. 313-334.
9. Bromwich, M. and A. Bhimani, (1989). Management Accounting; Evolution not revolution, London CIMA
10. Bromwich, M. and A. Bhimani, (1994). Management Accounting; Pathways to Progress, London CIMA.
11. Chandler, A. (1977). The Visible Hand; The Managerial Revolution and American Businesses. Harvard University Press, Cambridge.
12. Chenhall and Morris (1986). The Impact of Structure, Environment, and Interdependence on the Perceived Usefulness of Management Accounting systems. The Accounting Review, 61 (1), pp. 17-33.
13. Christensen, J. (1981). Communication in Agencies. The Bell Journal of Economics, pp. 660-673.
14. Church, A. (1914). The Science and Practice of Management. New York Engineering Magazine, Vol. 44-45.
15. Coates, J.J. Smith and R. Stacey (1983). Results of a Preliminary Survey into the Structure of Divisionalised Companies, Divisionalised Performance Appraisal and the Associated Role of Management Accounting.
16. Cooper, G. and B. Spicer (1995). A Multi-case investigation of a Theory of the Transfer Pricing Process. Accounting Organisation and Society, 20(6), pp. 424-458.
17. Demski, J. and Dye (1999). Risk, Return and Moral Hazard. Journal of Accounting Research, 37 (1), pp. 26-56.
18. Dent (1990). Strategy, Organisation and Control; Some Possibilities for Accounting Research. Accounting Organisation and Society, pp. 3-24.
19. Drury, C, S. Bound, P. Osbourne, and M. Tayles (1993). A Survey of Management Accounting Practices in the U.K. Manufacturing Companies. The Chartered Association of Certified Accountants, London.
20. Drury, C. (2000). Management and Cost Accounting. International Thomson Business Press, London.
21. Emerson, H. (1912). The Twelve Principles of Efficiency. New York Engineering Magazine company.
22. Emmanuel C. D. Otley and K. Merchant (1990). Accounting for Management Control, Second Edition. Chapman and Hall.
23. Epstein and Manzoni (1997). The Balanced Scorecard and Tableau du Bord; Translating Strategy into Action. Management Accounting, 79 (2), pp.28-40.
24. Ezzamel, M. (1987). Decision Theory and Information Economics, In Ezzamel and Hart (eds). Advanced Management Accounting, An Organizational Emphasis, Cassell Education Limited, London. PP138-158.
25. Ezzamel, M. and Hart (1987). Advanced Management Accounting, An Organizational Emphasis, Cassell Education Limited, London.
26. Fayol, H. (1949). General and Industrial Management, London, Pitman (Translated by Constant Storrs, Originally Published in French in 1916).
27. Ferrara, Hayya and Nachman (1972). The normalcy of profit in the Jaedicke–Robichek Model. The Accounting Review, April, pp. 299-306.
28. Ferrara, W. (1995). The 21st Century Paradigm. Management Accounting, December, pp. 30-36.
29. Fisher, J. (1995). Contingency-based Research on Management Control System; Categorization by Level of Complexity. Journal of Accounting Literature, 14, pp. 24-52.
30. Flamholtz, E. (1983). Accounting, Budgeting and control systems. Accounting Organisation and Society, 8, pp. 147-151
31. Flamholtz, E. Das and Tsui (1985). Toward an Integrated Framework of Organisational Control. Accounting Organisation and Society, 10 (1). pp.35-50.
32. Foster D. and A. Gupta (1990). Manufacturing Overhead Cost Driver Analysis. Journal of Accounting and Economics, 12, pp. 309-336
33. Galbraith, J. (1973). Designing complex Organizations. Organisation Development Series, Addison-Wesley, Reading, Mass.
34. Gerlof, E. (1985). Organizational Theory and Design – A Strategic Approach for Management. New York – McGraw-Hill.
35. Gittell, J. (2000). Paradox of Coordination and Control. California Management Review, 42 (3), pp. 141-143.
36. Goold and Quinn (1990). The Paradox of Strategic Controls. Strategic Management Journal, 11, pp42-56.
37. Govindarajan, V. (1984). Appropriateness of Accounting Data in Performance Evaluation; an Empirical Examination of Environment Uncertainty as an Intervening Variable. Accounting Organisations and Society, pp. 125-135.
38. Govindarajan V. & Fisher, J. (1990). Strategy, Control System and Resource Sharing: Effects on Business Units Performance. Academy of Management Journal, 33 (2), pp. 259-285.
39. Hagerty & Siegel (1988). On The Observational Equivalence of Managerial Contracts Under Conditions of Moral Hazard and Self-Selection. Quarterly Journal of Economics, pp.425-428.
40. Hayes, D. (1977). The Contingency Theory of Managerial Accounting. The Accounting Review. 52 (1), pp. 22-39.
41. Hooper, T. & Macintosh (1993). Management Accounting as a Disciplinary Practice. Management Accounting Research, pp. 180-215.
42. Innes, J. & Mitchell, F. (1995). A Survey of Activity Based Costing in U.K.'s Large Companies, Management Accounting Research, 6, pp. 137-153.
43. International Federation of Accountants Committee (IFAC). (1998), Managerial Accounting Concepts, March.
44. Jenson, M. (1998). Foundations of Organisational Strategy. Harvard University Press, Cambridge London.
45. Johnson, H. (1981). Toward a New Understanding of Nineteenth Century Cost Accounting. The Accounting Review, July, pp. 510-551.
46. Johnson, H. and R. Kaplan (1987). Relevance Lost- The Rise and Fall of Management Accounting, Harvard Business School Press, Boston, Ma.
47. Kaplan, R. (1982). Advanced Management Accounting. Prentice Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, N.J.
48. Kaplan, R. (1984). The Evolution of Management Accounting. The Accounting Review, 59 (3), pp. 390-418.
49. Kaplan, R. & Anderson, R. S. (2004). Time-Driven Activity-Based Costing, Harvard Business Review, November, pp. 131-138.
50. Kaplan, R. & Norton, N.P. (2000). Having Trouble With Your Strategy?
51. Langfield-Smith (1997). Management Control System and Strategy; A Critical Review. Accounting, Organization and Society, 22 (2), pp. 207-232.
52. Lee, J. (1987). Managerial Accounting Changes for the 1990s. Addison-Wesley Publishing Co.
53. Luft, J. (1997). Long-term Change in Management Accounting; Perspectives from Historical Research. Journal of Management Accounting Research, 9, pp. 161-195.
54. Macintosh, N. (1994). Management Accounting and Control Systems- An Organisational and Behavioural Approach, Wiley.
55. Macintosh, N. and Daft (1987). Management Control System and Departmental Interdependencies: An Empirical Study. Accounting, Organization and Society, pp. 40-61.
56. Merchant, K. (1998). Modern Management Control System- Text and Cases, Prentice Hall.
57. Miller, P. and O’Leary, T. (1993). Accounting Expertise and the Politics of the Product; Economic Citizenship and Modes of Corporate Governance. Accounting, Organization and Society. 19, pp. 187-206.
58. Nandakumar, Datar and Akella (1993). Models for Measuring and Accounting for Cost of Conformance Quality. Management Science, 39 (1), pp. 1-16.
59. Otley, D. (1978). Budget Use and Managerial Performance. Journal of Accounting Research, pp. 122-149.
60. Otley, D. (1980). The Contingency Theory of Management Accounting; Achievements and Prognosis. Accounting, Organisations and Society, pp. 413-428.
61. Ouchi W. (1980). Markets, Bureaucracies and Clans. Administrative Science Quarterly, 25 (1), pp.129.
62. Porter, M. (1985). Competitive Advantage. New York, Free Press.
63. Puxty, A. (1993). The Social and Organisational Context of Management Accounting. Academic Press, Edited The Advanced Management Accounting and Finance Series, The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, by David Otley.
64. Ronen and Livingstone (1975). Expectancy Theory Approach to the Motivational Impacts of Budget. The Accounting Review, October, pp. 671-685.
65. Ross. S. (1973). The Economic Theory of Agency; The Principal’s Problem. American Economic Review, 63, pp. 134-139.
66. Roznowski, M. and C. Hulin (1985). Influences of Functional Speciality and Job Technology on Employees’ Perceptual and Effective Responses to their Jobs. Organizational Behaviour and Human Decision Processes, 36 (2), pp. 186-208.
67. Scapens, R. (1999). Broadening the Scope of Management Accounting, From a Micro- Economics to a Broader Business Perspective, Working Paper, University of Manchester, sept.
68. Shank, J. and V. Govindarajan (1989). Strategic Cost Analysis – The Evolution from Managerial to Strategic Accounting. Irwin.
69. Shields, M. and Shields, J. (1998). Antecedents of Participatory Budgeting. Accounting, Organization and Society, 23 (1), pp. 49-76.
70. Shields, M., Deng and Kato (2000). The Design and Effect of Control Systems; Test of Direct and Indirect Effects Models. Accounting, Organization and Society, 25, pp. 185-202.
71. Spicer, B. (1998). Towards an Organizational Theory of the Transfer Pricing Process. Accounting, Organizations and Society, pp. 302-322.
72. Tang, R. (1992). Transfer Pricing the 1990s, Management Accounting, February, pp 22-26.
73. Thompson, J. (1967). Organizations in Action. MacGraw Hill Books, New York.
74. Tinker, Merino and Neimark (1982), The Normative Origins of Positive Theories, Ideologies and Accounting Thought. Accounting, Organizations and Society, 7 (2), pp. 167-200.
75. Urwick, L. (1928). Principles of Direction and Control. In Dictionary of Industrial Administration, Vol 1. John Lee (ed.), Pitman, London.
76. Vaysman (1996). A Model of Cost-based Transfer Pricing. Review of Accounting Studies. 1 (March), pp. 73-108.
77. Walker, G. (1988). Strategic Sourcing, Vertical Integration and Transaction Costs. Interfaces, May/June, pp. 62-73.
78. Walker, M (1998). Management Accounting and the Economics of Internal Organization: A Review Essay. Management Accounting Research, 9(1), pp. 21-30.
79. Waterhouse and Tiessen (1978). A Contingency Framework for Management Accounting Systems Research. Accounting, Organizations and Society, August, pp. 65-76.
80. Zimmerman J. (1979). The Cost and Benefits of Cost Allocations. The Accounting Review, July, pp. 504-521.
81. Zimmerman J. (1997). Accounting for Decision Management and Control, Second Edition. Irwin, Chicago.
How to Cite
Iyenhen, D. C., & Sabit, M. S. (2023). The Evolution and Development of Management Accounting Theories and Practices: A Review of Theoretical Frameworks. Central Asian Journal of Innovations on Tourism Management and Finance, 4(2), 40-54.