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Title: Activity-based costing : a review with grounded theory-based case study
Author: Salafatinos, Chris
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1996
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This thesis reviews the Activity-Based Costing (ABC) literature, and analyzes its origins, nature, and development as a precursor to the case study. In addition, a constructive approach to research is used to develop techniques which integrate ABC theory with traditional methods to enhance its application for continuous improvement in practice. The case study employs a grounded theory research approach based on participant observation to explore the technical and organizational change process as a result of implementing Activity-Based Costing at Calor Gas. In terms of technical change, the case reveals a number of significant issues impacting upon the practicality of ABC systems which are neglected in the literature. The application of grounded theory resulted in the formulation of several hypotheses which are integrated in the construction of conceptual models, and are pertinent to the future study of implementation issues. The models address three main problems. The first problem focuses on the potential conflict between product costing and Activity-Based Management (ABM) objectives. The second deals with establishing criteria for the formulation of activities. The third is concerned with establishing a suitable set of cost objects. Each problem is presented as it was discovered in the context of the case. Diagrams are used to depict critical factors, and to show relationships between variables in order to find more general solutions. In terms of organizational change, an "evolutionary" theory about the process of change is developed. It is a process of change whereby the organization learns to adapt to a new environment and conditions. Organizational changes occur in small increments relative to the pace of learning, and the organization grows and matures in order to accommodate the introduction of new knowledge systems. New skills, language, technical concepts and structures are developed. Some of the changes that occurred in the case were planned, some were unplanned, but all were part of the general evolutionary process of an organization adapting to its environment.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available