Investigating activity-based costing in manufacturing industry

John A. Brierley, Christopher Cowton, Colin Drury

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper reports the results of interviews with 51 qualified management accountants. Grounded theory techniques are used to seek to explain why operating units in manufacturing industry do or do not undertake investigations into the appropriateness of activity-based costing (ABC) and, for those that investigate ABC, how they carry out these investigations. The interviews revealed that operating units investigated ABC for a variety of reasons with the most popular being to calculate more accurate product costs and because ABC was a new fashionable technique. Similarly, interviewees offered a variety of reasons for having never considered ABC. The interviewees used a variety of methods to investigate the appropriateness of using ABC, but these did not tend to be very complicated.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-33
Number of pages13
JournalCyprus International Journal of Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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