A Comparison Between Japanese and French Cost Management – Contingency and Institutional Perspectives
19 Pages Posted: 4 Jan 2019
Date Written: December 20, 2018
From an historical perspective, management accounting is a very recent phenomenon (see Johnson & Kaplan, 1987) and is culturally grounded in a few old-industrialized countries, in Europe: Germany, United-Kingdom, France, but also in Japan and in the United-States. Notwithstanding the cultural dominance of English-speaking countries on management, non-English speaking countries keep strong institutional and cultural roots that still influence their ways of managing companies. This is the case when looking at management accounting and more especially at cost accounting and cost management practices (now cost accounting/management).
This paper, based on contingency and institutional frameworks, explores what are the similarities and differences of Japanese and French cost accounting/management. The first part describes the theoretical background, the second part presents the Japanese context, the third part the French one and the fourth part discusses the question. The historical, institutional and cultural backgrounds of the two countries are reviewed, focusing on cost accounting / management with a view on target costing.
Through a comparative approach, specific French and Japanese ways of managing the costs are put in evidence. The research shows that the attitude towards target costing and the specific practices of cost accounting/management observed in France and Japan highlight the differences and similarities between the two countries. Both countries are also influenced by the Anglo-Saxon practices, and evidences of convergence become apparent.
Keywords: Japan, France, cost accounting, cost management, comparison
JEL Classification: M40, M16, M14
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation