Interpretive Theorizing on the Development of Management Accounting in Russia: Constructivist Grounded Theory Approach


  • Pavel Lebedev



Emerging Markets, Grounded Theory, Interpretive Theorizing, Management Accounting, Russia


In this paper, the author discusses a method of interpretive theorizing to construct a grounded theory and discusses its application to management accounting research. It is exemplified by the study of the development and the current state of management accounting in Russia and is conducted by the author with a main phase of investigation between 2014 and 2019. These studies employed various methods including archival research, an extended survey study, and a longitudinal case-based study of particular companies, all of them having produced diverse results. An interpretive approach, as demonstrated in this paper, is an effective vehicle to pursue the ambitious goals of reconciling findings from multiple studies while searching for patterns among them. Such a process allows the author to explore, formulate, and explain a holistic, but a systematic picture of the state and development of management accounting and contribute to the development of theory. The paper demonstrates how the author applied a cornerstone of the qualitative analysis—various coding approaches—to develop categories as foundations for formulated theoretical propositions. The emerging theory claims that the influence of external factors on the development of management accounting in Russia has been spontaneous and unsustainable, while management accounting competencies of the decision-makers of mid-sized companies (internal factors) were not sufficient to arrange a proper management accounting function, which led to the “managerial dead-end” and created a “vicious circle” that does not give rise to financial leadership.