اثرات کشوری و صنعت بر پیاده سازی تجزیه و تحلیل هزینه زنجیره ارزش
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|23337||2002||18 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||7585 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : The International Journal of Accounting, Volume 37, Issue 1, 2002, Pages 123–140
This study provides evidence based on data collected from 65 US and 34 Hong Kong companies regarding current implementation of value chain cost analysis. The findings indicate significant differences in cost systems of companies in these two regions under value chain framework. The US manufacturing firms have invested more of their resources in upstream activities than have their Hong Kong counterparts, but this observation did not hold in the service industry. Overall, however, the results support a positive link between the percentages of cost and degrees of cost tracing, particularly for upstream activities, for firms in both regions. Implications of this study in cost management for the US and Hong Kong companies are also discussed.
In today's global business environment, companies face significant competition and are under tremendous pressure to improve their productivity. To cope with these challenges, corporate managers have gradually become customer-driven and have focused on delivering quality products at competitive prices. In the past decade, many management tools have been introduced and implemented to improve operational efficiency and to enhance corporate competitiveness. Of these tools, Porter (1985, p. 33) suggests that the value chain analysis, which involves “disaggregating a firm's operations into strategically relevant activities in order to understand the behavior of costs and potential sources of differentiation,” can be an effective means of optimizing the use of limited resources. Many researchers have expanded upon Porter's framework to explain how value chain analysis can be an important managerial tool (e.g., Hergert & Morris, 1989, Shank & Govindarajan, 1992, Shank & Govindarajan, 1993 and Society of Management Accountants of Canada (SMAC), 1996). Using field research, Shank and Govindarajan (1993) conclude that value chain analysis is useful in understanding how a firm is positioned in its industry. Once the value chain is fully articulated, strategic decisions can be made more easily based on a clear understanding of the firm's competitive advantages as shown by the factors in the chain. The value chain is a sequence of business activities that add value (utility) to the products or services provided by an organization to its customers.1 How a firm undertakes these value chain activities can affect its profit in two ways. First, managing these activities effectively may improve the firm's cost structure and profitability (Gadiesh & Gilbert, 1998). Second, the mix of value chain activities could affect customers' satisfaction with the products and/or services provided by the firm Artto, 1994, Boer, 1996, Shields and Young, 1991 and Susman, 1989 and, hence, indirectly increase the firm's revenues and profit. Thus, the first step in managing value chain activities is to understand how a firm allocates its resources to value chain activities. This information is crucial, because a proper mix of activities (i.e., trading off across activities) could affect a firm's total revenues and costs. For example, more emphasis on research and design could increase the cost at an early stage of the product. On the other hand, it may reduce the costs of downstream activities,2 such as marketing and customer services. Based on the distribution of costs among different activities, managers can then determine the optimal mix of value chain activities and evaluate whether they are allocated properly to support different products and customers Boer, 1996, Foster, 1996, Foster & Gupta, 1994, Foster et al., 1996 and Innes and Mitchell, 1995. A cost structure that is well managed through value chain analysis can also enhance customers' satisfaction. Through a detailed articulation of the company's important activities, value chain analysis provides managers with valuable insights into the company's competitive advantages and disadvantages, enabling them to develop strategies to enhance customer satisfaction. There are reasons why we conduct a comparative study of value chain implementation between the US and Hong Kong companies. According to Whitley (1992), many changes in the United States economy since 1970, coupled with the rise of the economy in many Asian sectors of the world economy, have encouraged a growing interest in conducting comparative studies of business organizations in US and Asia. Since management accounting practices could vary significantly among countries and can be society dependent (Kristensen, 1997), there is increasing recognition of the importance of carefully investigating management accounting and control systems in different economies/regions. Moreover, the predominant management tools that are being applied in the West may not necessarily fit well into the business models followed by companies in the East. For example, Whitley (1999) argues that management control systems may be closely associated with cultural norms. This is an important factor to be considered, since managers with different cultural backgrounds may have different values and approaches in dealing with trust and authority, and these mores may drive owner–manager relations, commitment, and risk sharing. Since most empirical cost management studies have been focused on US companies (e.g., Magretta, 1998), a comparative study would help both academicians and practitioners to gain in-depth understanding of how value chain practices are implemented in a developed country vs. in a newly industrialized economy. The remainder of this paper is organized as follows. Background information related to the Hong Kong business system and its national firm characteristics is provided in the next section, followed by a literature review and hypotheses development. Next, we discuss the research design and data collection processes before presenting research findings. The last section summarizes and concludes the study.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Whether a firm has competitive advantages depends on how it generates revenues and controls costs (i.e., improves its profitability) while enhancing its customers' satisfaction. During the past two decades, many cost-management techniques have been introduced to domestic and foreign corporate managers. Industries are beginning to acknowledge the benefits of value chain cost analysis in strengthening a company's competitive position. To manage value chain activities effectively, corporate managers must be thoroughly familiar with the firm's cost structure and need to analyze the relationship of its value chain costs to the degree of cost tracing. Survey findings from 65 US and 34 Hong Kong firms indicate that the degree of value chain implementation may be contingent upon the country and industry of the studied company. Overall, companies operating in an advanced economy, such as the United States, may invest more resources in upstream activities than are invested by companies in a newly industrialized economy, such as Hong Kong. However, this significant difference in cost allocation between the United States and Hong Kong is found in upstream, not downstream, activities. Further analyses suggest that this difference exists only in the manufacturing industry. Regarding the service industry, US and Hong Kong companies allocate similar percentages of costs to operate their value chain activities. The observation of a significant industry effect is just as we expected. Manufacturing firms in both the United States and Hong Kong allocate more funds to their upstream activities than service firms do. Similarly, service firms allocate more funds to downstream activities than their counterparts do. Furthermore, empirical evidence indicates that there is a relationship between percentages of operating costs for each activity and the degree of cost tracing for that activity within firms' existing cost structures, particularly for upstream activities, among companies in both economies. As with other empirical studies, our study leaves several questions unanswered. First, the nature of the business environment in which the firm operates is likely to determine how it can compete. For example, companies that produce products with relatively short lives (e.g., telecommunication equipment) may be more willing to allocate a large portion of their resources to research and development than are those firms that primarily supply a commodity for other companies. Therefore, it would be meaningful to examine this issue and to investigate whether the industry and/or product type contributes to the adoption of value chain analysis implementation. Second, it is important to determine whether implementing value chain activity analysis would enhance corporate profits short term and/or long term. As we discussed in the prior sections, the value chain analysis could be used as a strategic tool in cost management. The benefits of its implementation to the corporate bottom line, however, may not be immediately available. Therefore, it would be beneficial to conduct future studies of firms in different regions to examine the relationship between the level of value chain analysis implementation and its impacts on companies' short-term and long-term profitability. Third, the smaller firm size and a higher level involvement in daily operations by owners/managers of Hong Kong companies, compared to US companies, may affect the adoption of new management-control systems. According to our empirical results, Hong Kong managers appear to be actively pursuing new tools to assist them in strengthening their competitive position. Although this finding is consistent with the competitive nature of the Hong Kong business environment, readers need to be cautious in interpreting this finding. Since this is one of the earliest studies to relate the business environment to the adoption of management-control systems, more research needs to be conducted before conclusions are drawn. Fourth, the levels at which companies in the United States and Hong Kong adopt value chain analysis may be driven by some unidentified factors. While there is no obvious link between the adoption of value chain analysis and firm culture factors, studies to determine whether such a link exists could yield additional insights into why managers adopt/do not adopt value chain analysis as part of their management practices. Fifth, the survey questionnaire first asks the respondents to indicate the proportion of expenditures applied to each value chain component, followed by the degree of cost tracing for these components. Due to the nature of the research inquiries, a potential demand effect may exist. While there was no direct indication of such an effect or of how a demand effect may affect our research findings, readers need to be aware of this potential limitation and to interpret the research findings carefully. Finally, the level of correlation between the percentage of operating cost and the level of tracing in the value chain activity category should be carefully interpreted. For instance, the degree of cost tracing may result in different levels of controllable expenditures or in different numbers of products/clients manufactured/serviced among companies. Since we did not ask the respondents to specify the controllability of cost in each value chain category or what management systems (e.g., JIT or ABC) their firm has adopted, it is somewhat unclear whether these factors may have affected the company's rationality in allocating their resources in tracing operating costs. In sum, the research findings of this study sheds light on how US and Hong Kong firms that responded to our questionnaire are currently implementing value chain analyses in their cost-management systems. Based on the results of this study, two observations, in particular, deserve more attention. As companies analyze their value chain costs, it is important to examine the entire value chain activities rather than to focus on a particular component. This analysis approach would help management better allocate limited resources. The other observation is that it may be necessary for firms to make a concerted effort to discover how to take full advantage of value chain analysis to gain competitive advantages. As stated by Kaplan (1995), the rapidly changing environment creates ample opportunities for management accountants to make contributions to their companies. Since corporate managers are required to deliver quality products and services that meet customers' expectations, an effective design and implementation of value chain analysis would assist management in deciding product mixes, choosing production alternatives, determining prices, selecting distribution channels, and providing services to enhance customer satisfaction. By playing active and leading roles, management accountants can participate in the formulation and implementation of firms' cost management strategies.