Despite a promising outlook in the 1970s, it has been claimed that human resource costing and accounting have progressed at something less than snail’s pace over the past two decades. This is largely due to difficulties in the application of the concept. In this article several extant studies regarding the application of HRCA are classified and exemplified. The idea is to increase our knowledge of how implementation of the concept could be achieved from a management control perspective. Most managers in the majority of studies hold very positive attitudes towards HRCA, but the integration of HRCA in the management control process has never been really attained. In seven Swedish case studies, the inhibiting factors in the implementation process of HRCA are compared. The lesson is that training, information, reward, target setting and cultural systems have to be worked actively to overcome inhibiting factors when trying to implement HRCA. Efforts should focus on: (1) knowledge of human resource costs, values and outcomes as well as how to calculate these; (2) top management demand as well as other elements in the reward system; (3) HRCA target setting; and (4) openness for change.
Personnel Review – Emerald Publishing
Published: Mar 1, 1999
Keywords: Costing; Grounded theory; Human asset accounting; Management control; Organizational learning; Sweden
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