Role of Management Accounting Systems in Strategic Sensemaking

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Exploring the Role of Management Accounting Systems in Strategic Sensemaking We are gonging to critically evaluate an article on the Exploring the Role of Management Accounting Systems in Strategic Sensemaking by authors Marcus Heidmann, Utz Schaffer and Susanne Strahringer.

Title, Abstract and Introduction
We think that the abstract provides sufficient information, identifies main issues in the article and explain the purpose of writing this article, and echo each other at the title.

The introduction is very informative. It illustrated two main problems (interpretation and logistical problem), which related to understanding the role of MAS in strategic sensemaking. The interpretation perspective defined strategic sensemaking as a learning process, and interactive use of MAS have positive influences. However, interactive perspective neglects the relationship between MAS use and MAS dimension. The logistical perspective just said MAS dimensions is important in this information processing, but not explain how MAS dimensions contribute to strategic sensemaking. Both information processing did not deal with these problems.

Theoretical framework
In the literature view authors defined strategic sensemaking as the individual process of observing, interpreting, and communicating strategic issues. Through these three successive processes to understand how managers use the management accounting system and how MAS dimensions contribute to this use.

Management accounting system in the observation phase, there are two characteristic modes of observation – scanning and focused search. Scanning behaviour can provide managers with different perspectives on strategic issues and it is more likely to accommodate new information. However, managers are more likely to use MAS for focused search, which can faster identificated the problems in areas covered by the system. It is required by executives because the limited attention capacity to achieve targets. We must concerned that the statistical analysis and data mining technique can reveal the weak value information from the various kinds of data which people usually cannot find out directly. High level of formalization as the character of MAS that focus attention on selected areas, whereas potential loss at other important areas and cause constrain the information. Authors said consistent data will reduce scanning behaviour and may decrease the possibility that strategic issues are identified. We thought these situations will occur, but managers use the MAS for focused search is inevitable. How to use their MAS for scanning and focused search together and have the greatest efficiency is worth considering.

In the interpretation phase, authors thought manager’s awareness is a key factor to interpret strategic issues accurately. Reliable information related to controliability perceptions and external information can reduce bias, errors and potential to increase confidence in judgement by consistent information. Therefore, MAS also can increase awareness during issue interpretation.

Manager’s awareness and more extra information were useful, but managers use MAS determine strategic issues is important as well. Another point about MAS in form of short-termism have side-effects and harmful to the interpretation of strategic can balance the effect of short-term performance. Correct form and flexible MAS information style are other factors effect strategic issues. However, we felt that this point may not key point in this phase. Authors stated find more extra information with a great degree of manager’s awareness to interpretation strategic issues.

In the final phase – communication phase, authors introduce a new definition about media richness, which separated by three levels. High media richness of MAS should have a positive effect on sensemaking, but did not have enough evidence to prove there have positive influences. On the other hand, managers use interactive MAS has...
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