The Diffusion of the Activity-Based Costing Method: A Comparison between France and China

  • Gregory Wegmann
Part of the Communications in Computer and Information Science book series (CCIS, volume 208)


In France, like in the USA, the Activity-based Costing method (ABC) was considered as a remedy for the crisis of management accounting. Now, the level of diffusion in France is as important as in the Anglo-Saxon countries. Not surprisingly, the ABC method is more developed in western countries than in China. Chinese scholars began to do researches on ABC in the 1990s and at the beginnings of the 21st century, we can observe some ABC implementations in Chinese manufacturing enterprises and then in the service industries. But, we can also find a similarity between the Chinese and French situations. In France, we have observed some resistances to the Anglo-Saxon way of manage firms and at the beginnings, a tool like ABC has been strongly criticised.


Management accounting Activity-based Costing method Chinese-French comparison 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Alcouffe, S.: Diffusion and adoption of management innovations in Accounting and Management Accounting: the case of the ABC in France, Ph.D. dissertation, HEC (High School of Management), France (2004)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Anderson, S.W., Young, S.M.: The Impact of Contextual and Process Factors on the Evaluation of Activity-Based Costing Systems. Accounting Organization and Society 24(7), 525–559 (1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Argyris, C., Schön, D.A.: Organizational Learning. Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, Readings (1978)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Bescos, P.L., Mendoza, C.: The Performance Management (translated), Editions Comptables Malhesherbes, Paris (1994)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Bescos, P.-L., Cauvin, E., Gosselin, M., Yoshikawa, T.: Activity-based Costing and Activity-based Management: A comparison between Canada and France (translated), Comptabilité – Contrôle – Audit, pp. 209–228, 229–244 (May 2002)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Bjørnenak, T.: Diffusion and accounting: the case of ABC in Norway. Management Accounting Research 8(1), 3–17 (1997)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Brickley, J.A., et al.: Managerial Economics and Organizational Architecture. McGraw Hill, New York (1997)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Chauvey, J.-N., Naro, G.: Contributions of the ABC method to the strategic analysis: Learnings from a research-action study (translated). Finance Contrôle Stratégie (Finance Control Strategy) 7(3), 63–89 (2004)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Chen, T.: Activity-based Costing Implementation Study in Commercial Banks (translated). Journal of Anhui Vocational College of Electronics & Information Technology (2009)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Chenhall, R.H., Langfield-Smith, K.: The relationship between strategic priorities, management techniques and management accounting: An empirical investigation using a systems approach. Accounting, Organizations and Society 23(3), 243–264 (1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Cooper, R., Kaplan, R.S.: Measure Costs Right: Make the Right Decisions. Harvard Business Review 66(5), 96–103 (1988)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Cooper, R., Kaplan, R.S.: The Design of Cost Management Systems: Text, Cases and Readings. Prentice-Hall, New York (1991)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    De La Villarmois, O., Tondeur, H.: ABC in France. The determinants of the implementation (translated). In: 17th Congress of the French Association of Accounting (May 1996)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Deng, Wei: Activity-based Costing Implementation in Commercial Banks (translated). Corporative Economy, Science and Teconology (China) 1 (2010)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Gan, Tao: Discussion on Activity-based Costing in Colleges and Universities Cost Computation (translated). Vocational Education and Economic Research (China) 5(2), 26–29 (2007)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Godowski, C.: The assimilation process of the ABC approaches in the Banking system (translated). Comptabilité - Contrôle – Audit (Accounting Control Audit) 10(2), 179–196 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Gosselin, M.: The effect of strategy and organizational structure on the adoption and implementation of activity-based costing. Accounting, Organizations and Society 22(2), 105–122 (1997)MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Green, F.B., Amenkhienan, F.E.: Accounting Innovations: A Cross-Sectional Survey of Manufacturing Firms. Journal of Cost Management for the Manufacturing Industry, 58–64 (Spring 1992)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Hu, Y.M.: The spontaneous formation and development of ABC, ABM in Chinese organisations (translated). Accounting Research (China) 3, 33–38 (2001)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Jensen, M.C., Meckling, W.H.: Specific and General Knowledge, and Organizational Structure. In: Werin, L., Wijkander, H. (dir.) (eds.) Contract Economics. Blackwell, Malden (1992)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Johnson, H.T., Kaplan, R.S.: Relevance Lost: The Rise and Fall of Management Accounting. Harvard Business School Press, Boston (1987)Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Johnson, H.T.: Relevance Regained: From Top-Down Control to Bottom-up Empowerment. The Free Press, New York (1992)Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Jones, C., Dugdale, D.: The ABC bandwagon and the juggernaut of modernity. Accounting Organizations and Society 27, 121–163 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Kaplan, R.S.: The evolution of management accounting. The Accounting Review, 390–418 (1984)Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Lebas, M.: Management accounting based on activities, analysis and management of activities (translated). Revue Française de Comptabilité (French Review of Accounting) 226, 47–63 (1991)Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Lebas, M.: Why ABC? Accounting Based on Causality Rather than Activity-Based Costing. European Management Journal 17(5), 501–511 (1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Li, C.Z., Wang, H.Y.: Activity-based Costing Implementation in Coal Mining Enterprises (translated). Business Economics (China) 1, 92–93 (2010)Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Li, J., Shao, X.Z.: Activity-based Costing and its Implementation in Restaurant Management (translated). Journal of Zhejiang International Maritime College 3(4), 36–39 (2007)MathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Lin, B., Liu, Y.G.: Case Study of Activity-based Costing Implementation in Chinese Railway Transportation Enterprises (translated). Accounting Research (China) 2 (2001)Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Lana, Y.J.L., Pan, F.: The implementation of activity-based costing in China: an innovation action research approach. The British Accounting Review 39(3), 249–264 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Lorino, P.: Strategic Cost Management (translated), Dunod, Paris (1991)Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Lorino, P.: The economist and the manager (translated), La Decouverte, Paris (1989)Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Malmi, T.: Activity-based costing diffusion across organizations: an exploratory empirical analysis of Finnish firms. Accounting, Organizations and Society 24, 649–672 (1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Mevellec, P.: Management tools: The relevance regained (translated), Editions Comptables Malesherbes, Paris (1991)Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Mevellec, P.: Activity based costing: A double meaning question. Comptabilité – Contrôle – Audit (Accounting Control Audit) 1, 62–80 (1995)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Ou, P.Y., Wang, X.P.: Activity-based Costing Method and the Implementation in Chinese Advanced Manufacturing Enterprises (translated). Accounting Research (China) 2 (2000)Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Pan, F., Zhou, W.L.: Activity-based Costing in China: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow (translated). Shanghai Accounting 8, 3–5 (2002)Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Pan, F., Tong, W.H., Yang, H.H.: Study on Activity-based Costing Design in Manufacturing Departments (translated). Shanghai Accounting 5, 8–11 (2003)Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    Pan, F., Tong, W.H., Yang, H.H.: The Application Study on Activity-based Costing in Non-manufacturing Departments (I) & (II) (translated). Shanghai Accounting 9&10, 6-8, 6-9 (2003)Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    Pan, F., Tong, W.H., Yang, H.H.: The perception of Chinese enterprises on ABC (translated). Journal of Shanghai University of Finance and Economics 1 (2004)Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    Rahmouni, A.: The settling of the ABC method in the French firms: features and adoption and success variables (translated), Ph.D. dissertation, University of Nice, France (September 2008)Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    Su, W.B., et al.: Which Factors Affect the Adoption and Application of ABC in China? An Empirical Research (translated). Nanjing University Business Review 15, 116–130 (2007)Google Scholar
  43. 43.
    Wang, P.X., Han, X.M., Lei, Q.L.: The applicability of activity-based costing and activity-based management in China (translated). Accounting Research (China) 8 (1999)Google Scholar
  44. 44.
    Wang, P.X., Han, X.M., Lei, Q.L.: Discussion on Activity-based Costing Implementation in Chinese Enterprises (translated). Chinese Accounting & Finance Research 2 (2000)Google Scholar
  45. 45.
    Yang, W.P., Chen, W.W.: The Application Study on Activity-based Costing Calculation and Design, and Case Analysis in Chinese Insurance Companies (translated). Economic Research Guide (China) 7, 86–88 (2009)Google Scholar
  46. 46.
    Yong, S.Y., Liu, Y.G.: The Application Study on Activity-based Costing in Telecommunication Enterprises: Based on a Case Study on a Branch Office of China Rail Communications Corporation (translated). Communication of Finance and Accounting (China) 5, 24–26 (2009)Google Scholar
  47. 47.
    Zhang, R., et al.: The Application Study on Activity-based Costing in Cigarette Manufacturing Industry (translated). Accounting Research (China) 6, 59–65 (2006)Google Scholar
  48. 48.
    Zhu, Y., Chen, G.M.: Survey and Analysis of ABC Application in Hong Kong (translated). Accounting Research (China) 8, 60–65 (2000)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gregory Wegmann
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Business Administration, LEG-FARGO, UMR CNRS 5118University of BurgundyFrance

Personalised recommendations