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The impact of World War II on cost accountancy in the U.S. may be viewed as a double-edged sword. Its most positive effect was engendering greater cost awareness, particularly among companies that served as military contractors and, thus, had to make full representation to contracting agencies for reimbursement. On the negative side, the dislocations of war, especially shortages in the factors of production and capacity constraints, meant that such scientific management techniques as existed (standard costing, time-study, specific detailing of task routines) fell by the wayside. This paper utilizes the archive of the Sperry Corporation, a leading governmental contractor, to chart the firm's accounting during World War II. It is concluded that any techniques that had developed from Taylorite principles were suspended, while methods similar to contemporary performance management, such as subcontracting, emphasis on the design phase of products, and substantial expenditure on research and deve­opment, flourished.



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