The role of management accounting in the construction of the new generation leadership in family firms: An Actor- Reality perspective

Antonio Leotta, Carmela Rizza, Daniela Ruggeri

Abstract


Succession in family firms may determine the survival or the failure of the business itself. Management accounting
literature has added little to this issue, mainly focusing on the process of succession and change (Songini et. al, 2013;
Giovannoni et al., 2011). The present study deals with new management accounting (MA) practices that the junior
generation may introduce during the process of succession. The aim of the study is to show that the introduction of new
MA practices can contribute to construct the leadership profile of the junior generation. Drawing on the perspective of
Actor-Reality Construction, we conducted a case study at a small-sized, family firm producing solar shading systems.
We examined how the process of succession derives from the integration of four dimensions of reality: facts,
possibilities, values and communication. Such an integration is facilitated by the introduction of a new accounting
information system and cost report. The case evidence highlights that the construction of the new generation leadership
may emerge as unintended consequence of the introduction of new MA practices. From the emergent perspective of
Actor-Reality Construction, the paper investigates the role of new management accounting practices in the actor-world
relation constructing the new generation leadership.

Keywords


Succession; actor-reality construction; management accounting practices

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