Improving competitiveness in education institutes – ABC’s neglected potential

John Sorros, Petros Lois, Melita Charitou, Alkiviadis Theofanis Karagiorgos, Nicholas Belesis

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Purpose: Because of the education sector’s evolution, accounting initiatives are required regarding competitiveness. Activity-based costing’s (ABC) neglected potential as a cost strategic tool initiated this research, which aims to identify administrative and operational factors that support or hinder its implementation in educational institutions as a predictor of competitiveness. Design/methodology/approach: A theoretical model was proposed and tested through structural equation modeling to identify relationships between accounting departments, cost procedures, the transmissibility of information and competitiveness. Using quantitative and qualitative methods, a scale of items was derived, denoting an institute’s cost strategy and ABC implementations and returned from 417 Greek education institutes. Findings: An accounting department’s role in accurate data transmissibility and an institution’s organizational structure significantly affect cost-related competitiveness. The importance of information sharing is strengthened by current cost allocation capabilities and the accounting department’s influence on management. Research limitations/implications: ABC’s limited implementation in the Greek education sector complicated the theoretical model’s construction, as a variety of geographical and institutional factors were taken into consideration. Practical implications: Customer value provides a competitive advantage and constitutes the basis of solid price strategies. Research demonstrates ABC’s importance for education institutions’ competitiveness and resource exploitation. Social implications: Education’s commercialization urges costing strategy prioritization. ABC could benefit competitiveness and attract long-term funds and investments. To create value institutions, the allocation of incurred costs to added-value activities is crucial. Originality/value: This study sheds light on vague issues institutions face when dealing with ABC. Understanding accounting departments’ influence shows ABC’s feasibility even for smaller or less efficiency-oriented education institutions.

    Original languageEnglish
    JournalCompetitiveness Review
    Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021


    • Activity-based costing
    • Cost accounting
    • Cost competitiveness
    • Education
    • Education institutes


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