Mediating Relations between Financial and Operational Concerns when Structural Interdependencies Are Significant: The Development of Pseudo Micro-profit Centres at Kitanihon

Yves Habran*, Satoko Matsugi, Jan Mouritsen

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

This paper analyses the development of pseudo micro-profit centres (MPCs) at Kitanihon, a Japanese manufacturer. MPCs aim to relate financial and operational concerns by sensitising operators to the financial consequences of their actions and by triggering financial improvements. MPCs, however, also create many small interdependent responsibility centres, which makes it difficult to delegate financial accountability. The paper studies the dynamic construction of relations between financial and operational concerns when structural interdependencies are important. It analyses such construction as a process of mediation. While extant studies focus on how accounting calculations, as mediating instruments, help linking dispersed people, aspirations and domains, the paper studies how accounting requires itself to be mediated to relate financial and operational concerns and to become powerful.

It shows that people, spaces and instruments form a heterogeneous ‘web of mediators’ by which relations between accounting and operations are constructed. It shows how structural interdependencies take part in this mediation of relations. Finally, this study shows that mediation does not link, but transforms mediated entities including accounting, which forms, per-forms and trans-forms along the chain of mediation it helps constituting.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100766
JournalManagement Accounting Research
Volume53
Number of pages15
ISSN1044-5005
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021

Bibliographical note

Published online: August 19 2021

Keywords

  • Micro-profit centres
  • Mediation
  • Mediating instruments
  • Interdependencies
  • Web of mediators

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