Agency Theory and Management Accounting
The purposes of this chapter are to provide an introduction to agency theory, a description of its use in management accounting research and an assessment of the contribution which researchers who are using agency theory could make to our understanding of management accounting. In view of the extent and complexity of much of the available literature only a brief description of the agency model will be provided, but this will be sufficient to establish a basis for discussing the implications of agency theory for management accounting and to indicate the explanatory nature of, at least, some current research. Although agency theory is expressed in the form of a mathematical economic model, a number of researchers are currently using it to explain observed management accounting practices.
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