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Management accounting roles in supporting servitisation: implications for decision making at multiple levels

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)212-232
JournalManaging Service Quality
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


Purpose: The objective of this paper is to analyse the potentially supportive roles of management accounting (MA) in the servitisation of manufacturers. Design/methodology/approach: The paper is a conceptual analysis supported by empirical examples. Findings: The potentially supporting roles of MA are here connected to the process of justifying, defining, and controlling servitisation. The potential units of analysis for MA in such a process are explored by going through the different viewpoints regarding service. The actual roles of MA within the process are examined both conceptually and in light of empirical experience. The paper acknowledges MA as a social phenomenon, taking multiple roles in supporting decision making. Essentially, MA can be used as a source of restricting and enabling, and the roles of MA may range from that of “answer machine” to the subjective and interactive use of MA information. Research limitations/implications: The paper represents a starting point for studying the variety of roles of MA in the servitisation process and it also outlines an agenda for further research. Managerial implications: The paper examines a variety of roles of MA in servitisation. The discussion of the choice and enactment of the relevant accounting objects holds practical value. Originality/value: The roles of MA in servitisation are discussed in more detail in light of the existing literature. Moreover, treating MA as a social phenomenon sheds light on the unaddressed sides of the control in the servitisation context. This supplements the existing service literature, which is dominated by mechanistic cost-system considerations.

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Field of science, Statistics Finland

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