Department of Management

Accounting Research on Health Care - trends and gaps

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperReviewResearchpeer-review


This study reviews three hundred seventeen accounting studies in health care from the past forty years. In addition to a traditional description of the theory and methods applied, this review focuses on the countries that have been studied, the stakeholder perspectives that have been represented through data collection and the longitudinal accounting topic focuses that have been developed. The findings illuminate trends and gaps in the literature. Specifically, this study identifies a growing trend of applying interviews as a method of data collection, which increases the possibility of representing individual stakeholders. Predominantly, administrators’ and doctors’ viewpoints are presented, whereas a lack of perspectives among nurses, patients and politicians raises opportunities for future research. Additionally, there has been an increase in the number of countries represented in studies. Whereas Scandinavian countries are well represented in this literature review, studies of non-English-speaking countries are still significantly lacking. The accounting topic in focus has seen a natural development with NPM reform developments. A majority of costing and budgeting studies in the 1980s and 1990s have gradually changed to a performance measure focus and different atypical areas, signalling increased nuances in the role of accounting in the health care sector. Thus, although the majority of the existing accounting literature has focused on NPM market reforms, NPM health care reform is far from exhausted, and ample opportunities exist for future research in health care accounting.
Original languageEnglish
JournalFinancial Accountability & Management
Pages (from-to)90-114
Number of pages25
Publication statusPublished - 2019

    Research areas

  • New Public Management, accounting, health care reform, literature review

See relations at Aarhus University Citationformats

ID: 128122225