The ABC bandwagon and the juggernaut of modernity

D Dugdale, TC Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

183 Citations (Scopus)


The paper explores the rise of activity-based costing (ABC). Drawing on actor-network theory, we follow key actors, and their intermediaries, as they construct ABC through a network of human and non-human allies. Drawing on Giddens' discussion of the dynamics of modernity, we show how ABC is formed, and reformed, in processes of disembedding and reembedding, and how it becomes affiliated to 'new wave management'. Through close attention to detail, our story evaporates simple distinctions between invention/discovery and theory/practice in the development of management accounting. We portray ABC as a socio-technical expert system that is formed mutually with the construction of the actor-networks that create it. As an expert system, ABC is both a response, and a contributor, to risks of the modern world - a bandwagon hitched to a juggernaut.
Translated title of the contributionThe ABC bandwagon and the juggernaut of modernity
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121 - 163
Number of pages43
JournalAccounting, Organizations and Society
Volume27 (1-2)
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2002

Bibliographical note

Publisher: Elsevier


Dive into the research topics of 'The ABC bandwagon and the juggernaut of modernity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this