Value Chain Analysis in Interfirm: A Field Study

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Interfirm relationships introduce new challenges for management accounting. One such challenge is the provision of information for the coordination and optimization of activities across firms in a value chain. According to the literature, a value chain analysis (VCA) is a useful tool to meet this challenge. However, little empirical evidence has been published on the use of this analysis in practice. This paper presents a case study on the use of an activity-based costing (ABC) model by a large UK retail firm and a group of suppliers for supporting their supply chain management (SCM) practices. This cost model was based on the principles of value chain analysis and integrated cost information across the supply chain. It was used to improve supply chain operations by performing benchmark analyses, strategic what-if analyses and cost monitoring. An interpretation of the case findings is provided using organizational theory and transaction cost economics.
Original languageEnglish
JournalManagement Accounting Research
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)1-23
Number of pages23
Publication statusPublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Interfirm relationships
  • Control
  • Value chain analysis
  • Case study

Cite this