With the pace of reform and opening up for 40 years, the research and application of management accounting has been gradually enriched and improved. Especially since 2014, in order to adapt to the development of the new economy and promote the improvement of enterprise management, the ministry of finance has made every effort to promote the construction of China’s management accounting system, marking that the construction of China’s management accounting guidance system has entered a new development period. Therefore, it is necessary to systematically review and summarize the research topics, methods and theoretical applications of Chinese management accounting in the past 40 years. The 1637 articles of management accounting published in eight types of academic journals in the past 40 years in China were collected and analyzed by using note-express, ucinet software and heterogeneity index. It is found that management accounting in China shows a trend of diversification in research subjects, research methods and theoretical basis. To be specific, in terms of research topics, the focus of management accounting research in different periods is different in China, and with the development of social economy, new research topics such as environmental management accounting, big data and financial sharing gradually emerge. This not only shows the diversity of management accounting research topics, but also shows that the research topics at each stage are closely related to the economic development at that time and the economic background of the enterprise. In terms of research methods, normative research or conceptual theory research methods are mainly adopted at the initial stage. With the formation of various databases and the continuous maturity of the application of technical methods mastered by researchers, empirical research, case study, investigation research and experimental research based on the databases are adopted. However, from the quantitative point of view, most of the current research methods of management accounting in China are empirical research. In terms of the theoretical basis, the theoretical application of management accounting has gradually expanded from economics and management to sociology and psychology. However, many relevant researches still only describe and analyze accounting phenomena in the management process, without using the theoretical basis to make a more reliable and reasonable explanation of management phenomena. On this basis, the following research suggestions are put forward: Firstly, we must pay close attention to the economic development trend, keep up with the pace of the times, pay attention to the national major development strategy and the level of modern science and technology development, and keep track of the hot spots related to enterprise management. Secondly, we should try to make an appropriate description and pertinent analysis of the management accounting practice, the nature of the emerging new phenomena and problems and the process of their contradictory movements, apply appropriate research methods, and condense the economic model with strong applicability as far as possible. Thirdly, we should extract the essence of experience in factual information, dissect the theoretical knowledge thoroughly, analyze and summarize the essence of experience based on the theoretical basis, combine the use conditions in the theoretical basis with the specific problems in the research of management accounting, explain management phenomena with the theory, and summarize the management accounting theory with Chinese characteristics in practice.
40 Years of Management Accounting: The Visual Analysis of Research Topics, Methods and Theoretical Applications
Journal of Shanghai University of Finance and Economics Vol. 22, Issue 01, pp. 51 - 65 (2020) DOI:10.16538/j.cnki.jsufe.2020.01.004
Cite this article
Xie Maohua, Wang Jiao, Zhang Jingxin, et al. 40 Years of Management Accounting: The Visual Analysis of Research Topics, Methods and Theoretical Applications[J]. Journal of Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, 2020, 22(1): 51-65.
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