Explores the role of the management accounting system in the process of adopting a complex manufacturing strategy, lean production. Finds, in a longitudinal field study, using the clinical methodology, that in order to change the management accounting system to support the adoption of lean production, traditional performance measures have to reach a certain threshold. An important way to create impetus for this change is to raise the level of the unit of analysis in the management accounting system, both horizontally and vertically. Finally, the management accounting system affects the process in three concurrent ways: technically, through its design; formally, through its role in the organization; and cognitively, through the way in which actors think about and use the management accounting system. Proposes that in order for the system to be congruent with lean production principles, all three of these perspectives need to be changed.
Åhlström, Pär and Karlsson, Christer (1996), “Change Processes towards Lean Production: The Role of the Management Accounting System”, International Journal of Operations and Production Management, Vol. 16, No. 11, pp. 42-56.