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Target costing, co-ordination and strategic cost management

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  • Ralf Ewert
  • Christian Ernst

Abstract

During the last years issues of strategic management accounting have received widespread attention in the accounting literature. Yet the conceptual foundation of most proposals is not clear. This paper presents a theoretical analysis of one of the most prominent approaches of strategic management accounting, i.e. target costing. We analyse three distinct characteristics of this strategic management accounting tool, namely its market orientation, its use as co-ordination instrument and its interaction with other factors affecting long-term cost structure in the form of strategic learning. The analysis shows that the more 'strategic' dimensions are added to the problem of cost management, the less valid are 'strategic' management accounting proposals in terms of the usual way target costing is employed.

Suggested Citation

  • Ralf Ewert & Christian Ernst, 1999. "Target costing, co-ordination and strategic cost management," European Accounting Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(1), pages 23-49.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:euract:v:8:y:1999:i:1:p:23-49
    DOI: 10.1080/096381899336131
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Afonso, Paulo & Nunes, Manuel & Paisana, António & Braga, Ana, 2008. "The influence of time-to-market and target costing in the new product development success," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 115(2), pages 559-568, October.

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