A semiotic alternative to communication in the processes in management accounting and control systems

Ülle Pärl


This conceptual paper addresses Management Accounting and Control Systems (MACS) from a communication process perspective as opposed to a functional design perspective. Its arguments originate from a social-constructionist perspective on the organization. Its line of argument is that building a social theory of a social phenomenon such as MACS, demands that attention be paid to the characteristics of the communication process. An existing theoretical framework that does the same is Giddens’ structuration theory, but it is only partly satisfactory because it refuses to consider communication-as-interaction from a dynamic contextual perspective, instead falling back on an argument related to the behavioural aspects of agency. An alternative is a semiotic-based communication perspective that includes context as well as addresses the epistemological level of a MACS theory based on communication. The semiotic model of Jakobson is provided and developed as a specific alternative.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12697/SSS.2011.39.1.06

SIGN SYSTEMS STUDIES. ISSN 1406-4243 (print), 1736-7409 (online). E-mail: sss@ut.ee. Postal address: Sign Systems Studies, Dept. of Semiotics, University of Tartu, Jakobi St. 2, 51014 Tartu, Estonia