Gloria Vollmers

Publication Date



Early in the 20th century, predating most academic and practitioner literature, Dennison Manufacturing's top management recognized that certain kinds of distribution costs, normally treated as part of general overhead and allocated based on prime costs, were highly relevant for product-costing and pricing decisions. They pulled as many identifiable direct costs of distribution as possible out of the general overhead pool and assigned them to the appropriate product lines as extra information for the managers of those lines. However, these off-book assignments of costs were not fully understood and caused misunderstandings for many years. New archival evidence allows us to see the frustrations of managers who wanted to understand and use this information and how they attempted to solve these problems.



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