Prof. Dr. Alexander Himme

Associate Professor of Management Accounting

Alexander Himme is Associate Professor of Management Accounting at Kühne Logistics University. He received his PhD in Management Accounting and Marketing at the University of Kiel (Germany). He holds a Diploma in Business Administration from the University of Kiel. Before joining Kühne Logistics University in 2015, he worked as an Assistant Professor at Vlerick Business School (Belgium) and as a Post-Doc at the Universities of Cologne and Passau (Germany). At the University of Cologne he received his cumulative habilitation. In addition, Alexander Himme spent one year as a Visiting Scholar at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University and the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA).  

Himme's specialization is on the field of performance measurement, valuation of intangibles, marketing accounting, and cost management. His work is positioned at the accounting-marketing interface. In this context his research deals with the influence of intangibles on accounting metrics like the cost of capital. The aim of the research is to quantify the return of investments in intangible assets like brands, customer equity, or corporate reputation. For determining the return of investments in intangible assets his research also focuses on ways how to measure and to evaluate these assets. Determining the drivers of a successful cost management is another pillar of his research projects. His research has been published among others in Journal of Marketing, International Journal of Research in Marketing, Journal of Management Control, Journal of Business Economics, and Journal of Cost Management. He has also presented his work at major international conferences (e.g., Congress of the European Accounting Association, Marketing Science Conference, Marketing Strategy Meets Wall Street).

Himme has taught at the Universities of Kiel, Passau, Cologne as well as at the Corvinus University in Budapest, Vlerick Business School in Ghent/Leuven/St. Petersburg, and the State University of Management in Moscow.  He has taught diverse financial, managerial, and marketing accounting classes in bachelor, master, and executive programs. Himme has visited several teaching seminars that deal with the case study method (e.g., case method teaching seminar by Harvard Business Publishing) and combines theory-based teaching with a passionate way of teaching case studies.


Tel: +49 40 328707-225
Fax: +49 40 328707-209


Selected Publications

Copy reference link   DOI: 10.1016/j.ijresmar.2016.05.004

Abstract: Marketing and finance executives follow different objectives and focus on different stakeholder groups. Marketers want to create sales impact. Finance executives are concerned about the financial health of the firm. As a result, both worlds tend to be rather disconnected in their daily business. We argue that this does not reflect the dynamics of the firm where important marketing and financial metrics in fact interact. As long as marketing and finance officers do not fully appreciate the interplay of their key metrics, their decisions are likely to be suboptimal.This article proposes a simultaneous equation model that reflects the interaction of marketing and finance-domain variables in the value creation process. We focus on brand-building activities and the attraction of capital as major tasks of marketing and finance officers. Our model shows how advertising and other investments increase customer-based brand equity (CBBE) that in turn impacts financial leverage and credit spread and ultimately elevates the level of financial resources.Based on a broad sample of 155 firms covering various B2C industries, we test for the empirical relevance of our model. We also assess the practical significance of our results by transforming them into elasticities. Our results suggest that marketing and finance executives need to consider the dynamic interaction of their decision and performance variables to fully evaluate the effects of their decisions on the firm's financial health.

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Copy reference link   DOI: 10.1016/j.ijresmar.2013.10.006

Abstract: Recent marketing studies suggest that non-financial metrics, such as customer satisfaction and brand value, help explain the variation in the cost of equity and the cost of debt. These studies typically focus on only one non-financial metric and one component of capital cost. In this study, we broaden the understanding of the relevance of non-financial metrics to the cost of capital. We investigate the joint role of customer satisfaction, brand value, and corporate reputation for stock market beta and credit ratings, which reflect variation in equity and debt risk premiums across firms. In addition to the joint direct influence of these metrics on capital cost, we also study their interaction effects. We develop a conceptual model to explain the effects on capital costs and test the resulting hypotheses in a broad sample of 344 firms from diverse industries using data from the 1991–2006 period.Our results suggest that higher satisfaction ratings reduce both the cost of equity and cost of debt, whereas brand value and corporate reputation only show a negative direct association with the cost of debt. In addition, both measures moderate the effect of satisfaction on the cost of debt. Brand value attenuates the influence of satisfaction, whereas corporate reputation amplifies this effect.

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Copy reference link   DOI: 10.1007/s00187-012-0157-8

Abstract: Cost reduction is usually confronted with conflicts and resistance. Besides planning and controlling measures the management accounting literature discusses behavioral and organizational factors (e.g., top management commitment, participation, cost culture) in order to overcome this resistance. Thus, from a theoretical perspective different concepts exist for implementing an effective long-term cost reduction. However, only little empirical research can be found that investigates the relative importance of “soft” behavioral and implementation factors compared to general planning and control measures. This study examines the role of behavioral and organizational (“soft”) factors in comparison to planning and control (“hard”) factors in cost reduction projects. Target costing or activity-based costing projects represent examples for strategic cost reduction projects which are considered in this study. The sample comprises 131 chief management accountants of medium-size and large German companies which were involved in such strategic cost reduction projects. Structural equation modeling is used for deriving the results. The results show that cost culture, top management commitment, and participation are of particular importance for the success of cost reductions. Their influence drives significantly planning and controlling measures which in turn determine the effectiveness of cost reduction measures.

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Copy reference link   DOI: 10.1016/j.ijproman.2008.01.009

Abstract: This paper comprises the results of an empirical study on the use of project management standards in German and Swiss enterprises. This research points out the expectations, the realized benefits and – more importantly – the major differences between them. For this purpose, it compares ex-ante expectations of their respective users and compares them in turn with ex-post realised benefits. The results of the study are based on the statements made by 234 participants in an online survey conducted in 2006. Generally, standards are only rarely used in project management in Germany and Switzerland. And if standards are indeed used, they are rarely used “as is”; in fact they are usually modified or adapted before application. Moreover, it can be observed that most participants expect consistent communication in the projects and better process quality to be the primary benefits of standards. However, it is often impossible to realize expected benefits. Benefits are offset by deficiencies, such as the lack of acceptance, administrational overheads and associated costs. Based on the results of this study, recommendations for standard-giving organizations and standard-applying organizations are put forward.

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Research Projects

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Academic Positions

since 2018Associate Professor for Management Accounting at Kühne Logistics University, Hamburg, Germany

Assistant Professor for Management Accounting at Kühne Logistics University, Hamburg, Germany


Assistant Professor, Vlerick Business School, Belgium


Post-Doc ("Akademischer Rat"), University of Cologne (Chair for Marketing and Market Research, Professor Marc Fischer), Germany


Post-Doc ("Akademischer Rat"), University of Passau (Chair for Marketing and Services, Professor Marc Fischer), Germany


Research Assistant ("wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter"), Management Accounting, Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel (Chair for Management Accounting, Professor Birgit Friedl), Germany


Student Assistant, Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel (Chair for Econometrics, Professor Gerd Hansen), Germany



"Habilitation" at the Faculty of Management, Economics, and Social Sciences at the University of Cologne; Granting of the "Venia Legendi" for Business Administration; Title of the Habilitation: "Essays on the Management of Intangibles, Costs, and Innovation"


Visiting Scholar at the Anderson School of Management, UCLA, California, (Invitation by Professor Dominique M. Hanssens)


Visiting Scholar at the Graduate School of Business, Stanford University, California (Invitation by Professor Stefan J. Reichelstein)


Ph.D., Marketing and Accounting („summa cum laude“); Title of Dissertation: “Critical Success Factors of Cost Management and Market Entry Decisions”; Advisers: Sönke Albers and Birgit Friedl; Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel, Germany


Academic year at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


Undergraduate and Graduate Studies in Business, Law, and Economics with Majors in Accounting, Management Accounting, and Econometrics at the Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel (Diploma in Business Administration), Germany

Management Accounting

What is the unit cost and the contribution margin of my product? How many services do I have to provide in order to break even? Shall I outsource this activity or shall I keep it inside my company? Which products shall I produce first given my limited resources? Managers typically ask these and similar very fundamental questions when making decisions. This lecture series provides the basic concepts and tools to answer these questions. Covering the fundamentals of management accounting this lecture series helps managers to make better and profound business decisions. Specifically, this lecture series explains what kind of revenue and cost information exists and how this information should be extracted and structured. The lecture series also demonstrates how managers can use cost and revenue information to better plan and control business decisions. Cost and revenue information is the language of business, and this lecture series enables business students to better speak, understand and finally use this language.

Introduction to Managerial Accounting (Module I)

Cost Categories (Module II)

Determining Unit Costs (Module III)

Best Teaching Award at Kühne Logistics University (2016)

Alexander Himme has received KLU’s Teaching Award. The Teaching Award is conferred once a year based on the students’ evaluations of their lectures and seminars.