Management and Accounting Practices in the U.S. and Japan: Comparative Survey Findings and Research Implications
Author(s)Chow, Chee; Shields, Michael; Nakagawa, Yu; Kato, Yutaka
In recent years, the success of Japanese firms in the global market has prompted efforts to understand the sources of their competitive advantage. It has been suggested that one such source is the Japanese firms' management accounting systems, and a number of articles have claimed that important differences do exist between U.S. and Japanese firms in this area. However, the claims have tended to be supported by anecdotal rather than systematic, evidence. The objective of this article is to contribute further insights into similarities and differences between U.S. and Japanese firms' management accounting practice. Exhaustive search of published surveys in the U.S. and Japanese literatures (much of which is in Japanese) provided the basis for U.S. - Japan comparisons on six aspects of management accounting practices. In turn, these comparisons were used for deriving implications for future research. Two major limitations of extant research and, thus, directions for future research are identified. First, future research needs to go beyond the simple use or non-use of techniques to investigate more detailed aspects of technique use. Second, since management accounting is only one component of a firm's total management system, attention also needs to be devoted to the organization's context, process, and goals of a firm's management accoutning practices.
Japan, management accounting practices