An Empirical Investigation of Management Accounting and Control Systems Change in Two Libyan State-owned Manufacturing Companies
: An Institutional Perspective

  • Alhashmi Ali

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


    This thesis addresses two case studies of two large state-owned manufacturing companies in Libya. The study focuses on management accounting and control system (MACS) changes within the two companies. The study is motivated by the paucity of literature on management accounting practices in the developing countries in general and in Libya in particular. The case study approach adopted in conducting the present research was useful in exploring the dynamics of the MACS in the two organizations. Data were collected from three sources of evidence. Firstly, semi-structured interviews were conducted with managers, heads of offices and accountants of each company. The participants were selected from different backgrounds and managerial levels so as to provide broader understanding of the operations of the MACS. Secondly, observations include the direct observation and the participant observation. Finally, various documents were reviewed to provide supporting evidence for the interview results.

    New institutional sociology (NIS) perspective provided the theoretical framework to interpret and analyze the findings. NIS provided explanations regarding how the MACS in the two companies were shaped by various external and internal factors. The main factors identified in shaping the operations of the MACS were the need to comply with the political pressures, the Libyan government’s laws and regulations, the instructions imposed by the management committee in both companies, leading organizations’ pressures (ISO), customers’ satisfaction (coercive isomorphism), the influence of professional associations (normative isomorphism) and the need to imitate efficient organizations in order to be more legitimate and successful (mimetic isomorphism). The study also investigates the interplay between the institutional forces, market forces and intra - organizational power relationships. This analysis is essential to overcome the criticism of NIS that it downplays the role of market forces and intra - organizational power relations. The findings of the study have implications for understanding the operations of MACS in developing countries.
    Date of Award2014
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorJames Haslam (Supervisor) & Robin Roslender (Supervisor)


    • Management accounting
    • Large Libyan state-owned manufactuing companies
    • New Institutional Sociology
    • Case Study Approach

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