Dissertation: Volatility-Oriented Target Costing

Volatility-Oriented Target Costing

An Idealised Volatility Management Process

Strategisches Management, volume 207

Hamburg , 374 pages

ISBN 978-3-339-10436-6 (print)
ISBN 978-3-339-10437-3 (eBook)

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Although target costing is an extensively studied topic in the management accounting literature, a holistic investigation into its methodological development is missing. Therefore, an extensive state-of-the-art analysis is conducted that focuses on articles in highly rated journals. With this, nine distinct research streams that encompass further developments of the traditional target costing methodology are determined. By grouping these streams into three research scopes, the achieved progress and remaining tasks for further enhancements are outlined. Due to the abundance of these tasks, they are aligned to six future themes of management accounting that were identified as being particularly influential to target costing.

As a result, distinct highly relevant research areas for researchers to advance target costing methodologically are determined. Additionally, the findings reveal to managers of which issues they should be particularly aware with respect to the performance of their target costing processes.

Next, one highly relevant research area is further explored: volatility, a factor inducing information uncertainty into target costing processes. An idealised volatility management processes that advances target costing towards volatility-oriented target costing is conceptualised and operationalised. Characteristic of this specific target costing process is the replacement of deterministic assumptions with stochastic assumptions. The instrumental core of this process constitutes a Monte Carlo simulation.

From a theoretical perspective, the idealised volatility management process makes clear that volatility moderates target costing’s value of properly supporting decision-making processes. Only the deliberate consideration of volatility stresses that target costs can fluctuate over a certain range and that each value in that range possesses a probability of occurrence. With regard to management practice, a practical solution to consider volatility-induced information uncertainties during target costing is offered. It is shown how volatility can be made transparent, calculable and thereby manageable.

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