An exploratory study of management accounting and control systems in a developing country

  • Ahmed M. Mohammed

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


This thesis reports on the results of case studies in four commercial banks in Nigeria. The study focuses how management accounting and control systems (MCS) operate in the four banks. The study is motivated by the dearth of literature on management accounting practices in the developing world in general and in Nigeria in specific. The case study approach adopted in conducting the research was useful in exploring the dynamics of the MCS in the organisations. Data was gathered from two sources. First, semi-structured interviews were conducted with managers at the head office, regional office and branches of each bank. The participants were selected from different backgrounds and managerial levels to provide broader understanding of the operations of the MCS. Second, various internal and external documents were reviewed to provide supporting evidence for the interview results. New institutional sociology (NIS) provided the theoretical framework to understand the results. NIS provided explanations for how the MCS in the four banks were shaped by diverse external and internal factors. The key factors identified as shaping the operations of the MCS were the need to comply with the regulatory environment (coercive isomorphism), the need to maintain social and cultural support (normative isomorphism) and the need to imitate successful organisations in order to appear legitimate (mimetic isomorphism). The study also examines the interplay between the institutional forces, market forces and infra-organisational power relations. This analysis is necessary to overcome the criticism of NIS that it downplays the role of market forces, agency and intra-organisational relations. The findings of the study have implications for understanding the operations of MCS in the developing world.
Date of AwardMay 2010
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorStuart M Cooper (Supervisor)


  • management accounting
  • control systems
  • developing countries

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