Management Review Quarterly

, Volume 68, Issue 3, pp 321–354 | Cite as

Research on target costing: past, present and future

  • Heinz Ahn
  • Marcel Clermont
  • Stephan Schwetschke


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. We determine nine distinct research streams that encompass further developments of the traditional target costing methodology. By grouping these streams into three research scopes, we outline the achieved progress as well as remaining tasks for further enhancements. Due to the abundance of these tasks, we align them with six future themes of management accounting that we identified as being particularly influential to target costing. As a result, six promising topics for researchers to advance target costing are determined. Additionally, our findings reveal to managers of which issues they should be particularly aware with respect to the performance of their target costing processes.


Target costing Cost management system Literature review Future topics 

JEL Classification

M10 M19 M41 


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Business Accounting and Management ControlTechnische Universität BraunschweigBrunswickGermany
  2. 2.Volkswagen AGWolfsburgGermany

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