Costing Systems and Management Accounting Practices in Syrian Private Industrial Companies: a Contingency Approach
: A Contingency Approach

  • Mohammed Hamdan

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    The genesis for this thesis lies in various calls by management accounting (MA) scholars for there to be a better understanding of the nature of MA practices used in different businesses, especially in less developed countries (LDCs). Therefore, this exploratory study has been conducted in just such a country - Syria. The thesis discovers the complexity level of the costing systems and the extent of implementation of management accounting practices (MAPs) used in Syrian private industrial companies. Additionally, it also identifies the significance of such practices. In undertaking the study, the researcher has adopted contingency theory (CT) and institutional theory (IT) to identify those contingent and institutional factors having the greatest influence on the costing systems and MAPs used. This research is significant because it is the first empirical study in this context in Syria and has been also conducted after recent reforms within the Syrian business environment. It covers such areas as the gradual liberalisation of markets and the implications of this for businesses and their control environment. To achieve its aims, a questionnaire survey was used as the main method, which was distributed on medium and large size private manufacturing companies in Syria. The outcome was 108 usable questionnaires making 24.4% response rate. The collected data was analysed descriptively using frequencies and statistically using the multivariate analysis.

    The data analysis revealed that none of the responding companies used the ABC system or considering its adoption, alternatively they all used what can be regarded as traditional costing systems. The complexity level of the latter was also limited with the respondents using only volume-based or arbitrary cost drivers. The implementation level of MAPs was equally limited again, being confined, to more traditional practices as compared to the more modern MAPs used in advanced economies. The thesis also reveals that 6 out of the 11 independent factors examined, namely, product diversity, company size, top management support, percentage of exports, accounting education, and finally company age, had a significant association with the complexity level of the costing system adopted. Additionally, 5 out of the 7 independent factors studied, namely, company size, percentage of exports, accounting education, organisational culture and, finally, company age were significantly associated with the extent of the implementation of MAPs.
    Date of AwardJan 2013
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorHugh Coombs (Supervisor)

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