The Emergence of Coporate ABC Initiatives: Towards a Model of ABC Implementation



This chapter provides a narrative history of the emergence of ABC as a corporate initiative in the firms in our study. A major theme that runs through both accounts is the bureaucratic processes associated with bringing ABC to corporate consciousness and evaluating its potential as a corporate initiative. We use the term “bureaucratic” not in a pejorative sense, but to highlight a major difference between implementing ABC in a small versus a large firm. In a small firm a single ABC model can include all costs and the “pilot” study is the forerunner of the completed model. In a large firm hundreds of ABC models are needed to capture all of the business activities and costs of the firm, and any pilot study of necessity provides only a glimpse of the likely future challenges, costs and benefits of deploying ABC to the full organization. We use our observations at General Motors and Chrysler, as well as literature on the implementation of information technology and cost management change to develop a model of ABC implementation.


Steering Committee Cost System Cost Driver Corporate Initiative Corporate Acceptance 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Jessie Jones School of ManagementRice UniversityUSA
  2. 2.Leventhal School of Accounting, Marshall School of BusinessUniversity of Southern CaliforniaUSA

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