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Adoption of costing system sophistication and non-financial performance: evidence from Democratic Republic of Congo

Ndongala, L


L Ndongala


Ernest Ezeani


This study examines factors that influence the adoption of cost system sophistication (CSS) among Congolese firms and the impact of CSS on non-financial performance. Far from the traditional linear concept of organisation, this study apprehends organisation as a complex adaptative system of non-linear interaction. In this regard a triangulation between contingency and complexity theory is used as a basis of conceptualisation. This is done by looking at the interplay of the combination of a set of factors in the specific case of Congolese businesses.
In view of the nature of these research objectives, a mixed methods’ approach was adopted within a critical realism perspective. Data were collected using a survey questionnaire from 201 Congolese firms and from semi-structured interviews. SEM results indicate that the majority of Congolese firms use a simplistic costing system. In addition, results show that the adoption of CSS emerge as a pattern from the interplay between behavioural factors – management knowledge, management support -, organisational factors – perceived adequacy of resources -, and contextual factors- size, uncertainty avoidance. Furthermore, findings show that there are three social structures beneath the constant conjunction of association between factors, adoption of CSS and organisation performance: management knowledge norms, cultural norms values, and business strategic norms. Imbued with causal powers, the appearing or disappearing of patterns emerging from the continuous interplay of these social structures enacts or restrains the generative mechanism leading to a regularity in the occurrence of the relation between factors, adoption of CSS and Non-Financial Performance Measurements (NFPM).
This study made a significant contribution to costing system literature by presenting for the first time a mechanism explaining what can be observed in the empirical domain regarding the relationships between factors, the adoption of CSS, and organisation performance. In this regard, this critical realism empirical study fills the gap in literature by providing a holistic answer for the first time to the question of why organisations adopt or design a cost system sophistication; or to the question relative to the extent to which factors influence the adoption of CSS and its effects on non-financial performance. In addition, this study is novel in reviving the simplistic and mechanistic contingency theory by integrating information from the contextual uncertainty and dynamism of nowadays business environment. The study asserts that the fitness between the context and the organisation system is underpinned by the contextual uncertainty landscape in which are embedded all aspects of management accounting control package or the entire business management. Furthermore, the findings have a practical implication on the benefit the adoption or the design of cost system sophistication is likely to bring into the organisation cost management effectiveness among Congolese businesses. The adoption of CSS will yield more net benefit - individual benefit and organisation benefit- to Congolese SMEs processes, and subsequently more profitability. This is likely to advance Congolese SMEs competitiveness to face pressures from the global business environment. Similarly, the framework of complex relationships between factors, CSS and NFPM offers to the managers insights on which contingent factors are related to CSS with which fitness will yield more organisational performance.


Ndongala, L. Adoption of costing system sophistication and non-financial performance: evidence from Democratic Republic of Congo. (Thesis). University of Salford

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date Dec 12, 2022
Publicly Available Date Dec 12, 2022
Award Date Sep 21, 2022


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