The use of management accounting in western Austrian family businesses: An empirical analysis

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Mario Situm ORCID logo, Stefan Märk ORCID logo, Markus Kathan

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Within the scope of this study, western Austrian companies were analysed for the use of management accounting (MA). From the sample of 692 family enterprises in western Austria, relevant variables were collected to explain the use of MA and the differences between enterprises with and without MA were examined using logistic regression. The most important drivers for which the probability of using MA increases are the size of the company and the presence of a third-party manager. In addition, the results show that the older the management and the more likely it is to be female, the probability of using MA decreases. The results partially confirm the theoretical assumptions of the resource-based view (RBV) and the principal-agent theory (PAT). However, both approaches cannot provide a complete explanation for the use of MA, because the entanglement of family, ownership, and possessions means that other variables are relevant, which should be tested using other theory strands. The study is the first to deal with the problems faced by western Austrian family businesses. It could be confirmed that certain variables, which also had explanatory power in earlier studies, can also explain the use of MA in this study. In addition, it could be shown that gender and management training do not play a role in explaining the use of MA.

Keywords: Family Business, Management Accounting, Principal-Agent Theory, Resource-Based View

Authors’ individual contribution: Conceptualization — M.S., S.M., and M.K.; Methodology — M.S.; Formal Analysis — M.S.; Investigation — M.S. and S.M.; Writing — Original Draft — M.S., S.M., and M.K.; Writing — Review & Editing — M.S., S.M., and M.K.; Visualization — M.S., S.M., and M.K.; Supervision — M.S., S.M., and M.K.

Declaration of conflicting interests: The Authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.

JEL Classification: G32, M41

Received: 16.03.2021
Accepted: 04.06.2021
Published online: 07.06.2021

How to cite this paper: Situm, M., Märk, S., & Kathan, M. (2021). The use of management accounting in western Austrian family businesses: An empirical analysis [Special issue]. Corporate Ownership & Control, 18(3), 379–394.