The Whence and Whither of Interpretive Management Accounting Research: A Structured Literature Review

Adibah Jamaluddin, Rabiaini Ab Rahman, Nor Hafizah Abdul Rahman


This paper analyses and synthesizes the interpretive management accounting research (IMAR) literature to understand how the field has developed and identify areas for future research. A structured literature review methodology was adopted to analyse the top 100 IMAR literatures based on citation per year and citation index as of July 2022. The findings of the study suggest that it is important to understand the practical implementation of management accounting at an organizational level. Performative research can provide valuable insights into the application of management accounting in specific contexts. The authors recommend adopting a critical localist approach to explore both emic and etic insights and conducting comparative studies through international collaboration. The lack of evidence regarding the use of management accounting in the public sector and the possibilities of management control systems in a changing environment present research gaps and opportunities. Finally, the authors call for innovation in research methodologies, with an increased emphasis on the role of theorizing in the IMAR domain. The significance of this research lies in providing a systematic analysis of literature to explore a developing area of study and assess the current state-of-the-art in the field of IMAR.

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Copyright (c) 2023 Adibah Jamaluddin, Rabiaini Ab Rahman, Nor Hafizah Abdul Rahman

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Accounting and Finance Research
ISSN 1927-5986 (Print)   ISSN 1927-5994 (Online) Email:

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