Finance & Accounting

Strategic Management Accounting Assignment 2

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Assessment Type


Word Count

2500 words


Strategic management accounting


6 Days

Assignment Criteria

Assignment Task

  1. Explain the important elements that Tillmann, K., and Goddard, A. (2008) discuss in the Literature Review (section 2) and its relationship to Strategic Management Accounting context. (4 marks)
  2. The authors have adopted a case study approach to answer the research questions. How did the authors address the issue of validity and reliability in data analysis and explain how that was integrated into the paradigm model of sense-making in a strategic context (figure 2). (8 Marks)
  3. Tillmann, K., and Goddard, A. (2008) suggests that sense-making is core to understanding SMA in organisations. Describe the important elements for contextual conditions of sense-making (section 5.4). What impact did they have on the study and how? (8 Marks)

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Assignment Solution

Question 1:

It has been observed that SMA has attracted a good amount of interest in the past few years. Normative research has played an important role in the same. Some of the few practices observed under Normative approach were strategic cost accounting, competitive position monitoring (Rangone, 1997) , strategic investment appraisal and other methods like Activity-based costing (Robin Cooper, 1991) and Balanced Scorecard.

However, it was stated that all these methods adopted to bring out results which are not similar to what happens in the organization. According to various surveys, there are certain methods like competitive accounting and strategic pricing which have been implemented, but however, according to some, SMA has been observed as a term generally not used in various organizations and the managers do not have much knowledge about it.

There were many case studies which were done in order to understand the SMA practices.  In certain situations, information regarding the workings of the external environment of a company which included the performance and plan of the competitors were available, but all that information was provided very little insight.

Although it has been stated that normative research to SMA has not been able to provide a very broad insight and is disconnected with respect to what in the organization, it has played a very important role in developing SMA and the making of various SMA techniques. However, it is believed that interpretative research, when added to the existing research regarding SMA, would help it to develop even more and provide a better insight which would then help its usage in various organizations. In this case, grounded theory was used as an interpretative approach to conducting a meaningful analysis of the various data that has been collated. (Anselm Strauss, 1998)

In this case, there was not much prior theoretical discussion involved, but rather the understanding of the empirical data with respect to the concept of Sense-making in various organizations that took prominence. The main focus was how SMA was used in the strategy formulation of various organizations and how the employees used the accounting data to bring about the various strategic decisions.

Sense-making is considered as a process which involves the interpretation of a social world of a company with respect to the understanding of the whole situation and where the strategic direction in which the company is heading. The concept of Sense-making is used with respect to strategic management, the culture of an organization, organizational disasters and other management issues.

It has been explained that accounting and the concept of Sense-making have a very important link with respect to each other. It has been observed that various accountants understand the organizational situation while writing various reports with respect to the accounts. These reports which are pertinent to these accounts are read by their managers which in turn make a certain sense of the current situation of the organization. (Jr., 1993)

However, there has been no empirical evidence under any research confirming this particular situation and linking the importance of accounting and Sense-making. However, the paper would provide more insight into the importance of the relationship between management accounting and strategic decision making in an organization, the method and the various contextual conditions under which it is done.

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