Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: The role of activity-based costing in UK universities
Author: Mitchell, Michael Shaun
ISNI:       0000 0001 3412 2397
Awarding Body: Oxford Brookes University
Current Institution: Oxford Brookes University
Date of Award: 1998
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
The purpose of the research described in this thesis was to develop the concept of Activity-Based Costing (ABC) in the UK university context. The research methodology included sending a postal survey to 100 UK university institutions, augmenting this with a set of semi-structured interviews, as well as a statistical analysis of published data on university library operations. The overall conclusion of this research was that ABC can be of value in a university, but that currently there is a failure to: employ established ABC practice, relate the ABC design to the purposes intended, identify costs related to customer-type (rather than product), and consider behavioural issues, in particular where authority has been devolved. The key elements of the contribution to the knowledge and practice of ABC, in the UK university context, are the identification of The set of contextual factors that affect an ABC implementation, The purposes appropriate for this context, and The relevance of ABC to these purposes, and the conclusion that: Different purposes require different ABC systems, and in particular the choice of drivers for the costing of academic units is not appropriate for product design and cost management. ABC analysis is justifiable even where expenditures are partly determined by factors other than the demands represented by activity/driver volumes. Opportunity costing can be used consistently with the ABC ethos for university premises, academic staff and support services. ABC requires adaptation in the light of anticipated consequences and behavioural effects, particularly to ensure goal congruence in the product/ service decisions made within semiautonomous academic schools. The emphasis/ use of ABC is likely to shift in line with the anticipated reduced role of direct academic labour and premises. Implications for ABC in a wider context include the classification of purposes according to the use for allocations (eg. product decisions) and the philosophy guiding the choice of methods (eg. fairness v. truth). Implications also include the linkage to opportunity costing, and the circumstances requiring multiple ABC systems.
Supervisor: Shaw, Brian ; Mitchell, Falconer ; Howson, John ; Evans, David Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral