Management Accounting System in Public Healthcare Entities: Evidence from Vietnam

Quang-Huy Ngo


Objective:This study aims to examine the influence of contingency factors as market competition and organizational size on the effectiveness of the management accounting system (MAS) design in Vietnamese public healthcare entities. 

Method: Data were collected from 165 respondents working in Vietnamese public healthcare entities. PLS-SEM techniques were used to test the proposed model. Besides, the common method bias was assessed by employing the one single factor test and marker variable technique.

Results: The results reveal that market competition is positively associated with four characteristics of MAS design as scope, timeliness, integration, and aggregation. The size of healthcare entities only positively correlates with two characteristics as integration and aggregation. All these four characteristics allow an increase in managerial performance.

Originality/relevance: A previous study shows that healthcare's managers in Vietnam find MAS information to improve performance in several aspects. However, this study does not indicate whether or not MAS has an impact on managerial performance. Besides, according to contingency theorists, MAS should be designed in line with contextual factors to enhance performance. This study aims to address these gaps.

Theoretical/methodological contributions: With respect to the literature on healthcare sectors in Vietnam, this study extends the works of Pomberg et al. (2012) and Fung (2012) by indicating market competition and organizational sizes driving MAS to design more sophisticated in order to improve managerial performance. Besides, this paper contributes to the literature on public sectors by following a suggestion of Van Helden (2005), who urges the researcher should focus more on other management accounting topics than budgeting and performance evaluations, and use survey-based methods in public-sector research. Lastly, this study is the first study examining the impact of contingency factors as the organizational size on the effectiveness of MAS design, which is the assumption of most studies on management accounting.


Competition; Healthcare sectors; Management accounting system; Managerial performance; Public sectors; Vietnam

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