This study investigates the interaction between organizational context and organizational actions; more specifically, it investigates the processes by which new management accounting systems (MAS) emerge, are sustained and then disappear over time. The study highlights that change in MAS in subsidiary organizations and MNCs is a complex and path dependent process in which several vested-interest groups, intra- and extra-subsidiary organizations, play a role. The research also indicates that the pace and direction of such changes within subsidiary companies is influenced by the intensity and durability of the intra-organizational (institutional) context and also external (institutional) pressures. To understand the importance of external (institutional) pressures, as well as the inter-play of intra-organizational institutional factors, the study adopts both macro- and micro-focused institutional perspectives (i.e., NIS and OIE) on accounting change. In so doing, the study complements recent recommendations for ‘bridge building’ and methodological pluralism amongst the different strands of institutional theory employed in management accounting research.