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Battles in the costing war: UK debates, 1950-75

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  • David Dugdale
  • T. Colwyn Jones
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    Abstract

    In the UK, 1950-75 was a lively period in the long-running debates between proponents of absorption and marginal costing. In the nexus of competing interests, management accountants advocated and defended rival costing systems with much vigour and passion. Expressed in the language of the times, these debates were 'battles' in the costing 'war'. We focus on these battles, analysing the various forces that operated upon the combatants, and locate them in the wider costing war. We conclude that no final resolution of the conflict was achieved in the twentieth century, nor is one likely in the foreseeable future.

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    File URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09585200310001606608
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Accounting History Review.

    Volume (Year): 13 (2003)
    Issue (Month): 3 ()
    Pages: 305-338

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    Handle: RePEc:taf:acbsfi:v:13:y:2003:i:3:p:305-338

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    Related research

    Keywords: absorption costing; marginal costing; direct costing; interests; emotion; conflict;

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    1. Hopper, Trevor & Armstrong, Peter, 1991. "Cost accounting, controlling labour and the rise of conglomerates," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 16(5-6), pages 405-438.
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