A popular stereotype has it that German firms are somehow ‘long-term strategically oriented’ and British firms focus on short-term financial gain. Analysing ethnographic material from British and German brewers, this paper explores how management accountants in the two countries conceive of their relationship with processes of strategic formulation and how they seek to mobilize strategic arguments in their day-to-day contacts with operational management. The focus of this study is not on the strategy debates which one might expect among senior management, but on routine interaction between management accountants and managers in which the mundane events of organizational life are made to happen in the name of loftier ‘strategic’ priorities. From observations of such interaction and management accountants' reflections on them, contrasting ways of integrating management accounting expertise with operational knowledge of the firm are suggested for the British and German brewers studied. Those contrasts are developed by drawing on the relationship between time and the possibility for strategic intervention more generally.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Business and International Management
- Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous)
- Engineering (miscellaneous)
- Economics and Econometrics
- Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)