Graduate School of Business
Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)
Felicia Oyewale Olagbemi
Flexible manufacturing, activity-based costing, management accounting
Schlaack, John Edward, "Sustainable Activity-Based Costing in a Small Flexible Manufacturing Environment" (2023). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 4493.
This qualitative study was written to expand the understanding of the potential sustainable use of activity-based costing in a small flexible manufacturing environment. The research was designed as a multiple-site case study, targeting two diverse small manufacturers in this market segment. Information was gathered to develop an understanding of how these firms cost their products, captured base manufacturing data, and the impact their leadership had on the management of costing processes. The information was gathered from documents received and observations on the shop floor at each participant site. In addition, participants from different functions either directly impacting or indirectly influencing the costing processes were interviewed at each site. The common theme at both locations was the minimal level of management accounting knowledge beyond the individuals directly tasked with the maintenance of the costing process. The other two topic themes discussed the way the firms collected production data. The interpretation of the findings by the researcher noted the strong influence of the market and profitability constructs on the leadership’s openness to change. This study will assist practitioners in emphasizing the need to understand the corporate environment before initiating any costing process change. Further research on possible optimum organizational size for the initiation of developing complex costing processes was encouraged, as the need to gain more accurate data is balanced against the day-to-day operational demands of the manufacturer. In addition, the findings noted the need to expand management accounting knowledge outside the accounting function to assist firms in understanding the impact of their actions and the impacts of process improvement initiatives. Key words: Flexible manufacturing, activity-based costing, management accounting.