Accounting Information and Supply Chain Management Practices in the Era of IR 4.0: The Case of a Japanese Subsidiary in Malaysia

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Zubir Azhar
Marini Nurbanum Mohamad
Anwar Allah Pitchay


Manuscript type: Research paper
Research aims: This study aims to explore the interplay between accounting information and supply chain management (SCM) practices of a Malaysian subsidiary whose shares are largely owned
by a Japanese parent company.
Design/Methodology/Approach: This study follows a qualitative, case study methodology. The major sources of this study’s data were collected through semi-structured interviews, documentary reviews and informal observations.
Research findings: Influenced by its parent company’s management style that concerns aligning business practices with the fourth Industrial Revolution (IR 4.0), the case company has subscribed to a set of accounting systems and SCM practices to manage its complex business activities. As much as accounting systems influence its SCM practices more naturally, SCM practices also influence its accounting practices quite extensively. On the one hand, it has used accounting reports to manage its cashflow, to develop its marketing plan, and to monitor its performance. On the other hand, its SCM practices have shaped the ways pricing and performance measures are set with much negotiation.
Theoretical contribution/Originality: Using the Resource Based View (RBV) as a theoretical lens, this study analyses the role of accounting within the context of the supply chain network by exploring how accounting systems influence and/or get influenced by SCM practices.
Practitioner/Policy implications: The findings are important in shedding light on the interplay between accounting and SCM in view of their strong networks and mutual roles in relation to the natural supply chain setting of a Japanese subsidiary company by relating to the IR 4.0’s demands.
Research limitation/Implications: This study is based on one case study and that the specific accounting information that were reported in the company were not identified. This study has revealed that information sharing has streamlined SCM and influenced performance as members in the supply chain network are able to
collaborate in a more integrated and seamless manner to enhance the organisational competitive advantage as highlighted by the RBV theory and as emphasised by IR 4.0.
Keywords: Accounting Systems, Case Study, Japanese Subsidiary, SCM Practices, IR 4.0
JEL Classification: M41


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