Activity-based costing meets Lean management

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School of Economics | Master's thesis
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ACTIVITY-BASED COSTING MEETS LEAN MANAGEMENT Purpose of the study The purpose of this study is to investigate how a costing methodology and a performance improvement methodology can be integrated to create synergistic benefits for a case company. Although numerous academics have studied the implementation of activity-based costing (ABC) in various settings, there is a lack of empirical studies focusing on how the information provided by the ABC model is used by the company’s management to support performance improvement. This under-researched field has potential to bring new insights to both the fields of management accounting and operations management. As Cagwin and Bouwman (2002) document, the benefits of ABC are augmented when it is co-used with other performance improving methodologies. Therefore it will be tempting to investigate the co-use of ABC and these performance improving methodologies in more detail. Research approach and methodology The author started to investigate this topic in a case company, where an attempt was made to combine the principles of ABC and lean management to facilitate a problem solving process. An action research methodology was utilized, where the author participated in the action-taking and problem solving in a role of a company insider. Results While the resulted managerial construction satisfies the company’s needs, it has little to do with the fundamentals of ABC, and the link to lean management is somewhat vague. The study documents the development of this managerial construction, and discusses how the realities of action-taking in the company compare to existing literature of ABC and lean management. Keywords Activity-based costing, lean management, performance improvement
activity based cost accounting, lean management, performance improvement
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