Prof. Dr. Alexander Himme


Associate Professor of Management Accounting


Journal Articles (Peer-Reviewed)

DOI: 10.1509/jm.16.0250 

Abstract: The impact of market share on financial firm performance is one of the most widely studied relationships in marketing strategy research. However, since the meta-analysis by Szymanski, Bharadwaj, and Varadarajan (1993), substantial environmental (e.g., digitization) and methodological (e.g., accounting for endogeneity) developments have occurred. The current work presents an updated and extended meta-analysis based on all available 863 elasticities drawn from 89 studies and provides the following new empirical generalizations: (1) The average raw market share–financial performance elasticity is .132, which is substantially lower than the effectiveness of other intermediate marketing metrics. This result challenges a widely used strategy that solely focuses on increasing market share. (2) Elasticities differ significantly between contextual settings. For example, they are lower for business-to-business firms than for business-to-consumer firms, for service firms than for manufacturing firms, and for U.S. markets than for emerging and Western European markets. The authors also observe differences between countries with respect to a general time trend (e.g., lower elasticities in recent times for Western European markets) and recessionary periods (e.g., lower elasticities in the United States, higher elasticities in non-Western economies).

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Open reference in new window "When Does Market Share Matter? New Empirical Generalizations from a Meta-Analysis of the Market Share-Performance Relationship"

DOI: 10.1007/s00187-016-0239-0 

Abstract: The accounting literature voices increased concerns about sustainability issues. Environmental performance as one dimension of sustainability includes among others the management and control of energy. Energy is a key production factor to which the stakeholders of a firm pay increased attention. Since energy has a significant influence on the economic costs and the environmental footprint of firms, management accounting is under growing pressure to better monitor and control energy costs. As a consequence, management accounting needs to develop energy management systems which control energy consumption and aim to reduce energy costs which in turn diminish a firm’s environmental impact and thus improve corporate reputation. One of the most important elements for energy management systems is an effective and cost-efficient measure of the energy consumption. However, firms and their management accounting departments, respectively, are still struggling to develop any cost-efficient approach for measuring energy consumption. That is why we suggest a statistical approach to easily and cost-efficiently measure energy utilization which in turn provides information input to improve environmental management accounting (e.g., cost allocations). We demonstrate our approach for a firm from an energy-intensive industry. The approach allows to distinguish more efficient from less efficient production units. We derive implications from this measurement approach for environmental management accounting and environmental management control systems.

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Open reference in new window "Improving Environmental Management Accounting: How to Use Statistics to Better Determine Energy Consumption"

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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Open reference in new window "The Financial Brand Value Chain: How Brand Investments Contribute to the Financial Health of Firms"

DOI: 10.1007/s11573-017-0859-3 

Abstract: Firms regularly terminate sponsorships, even without publicly known misconduct by the sponsee such as athlete doping. Consumer reactions to these sponsorship terminations by firms have not been studied despite being a regular occurrence. Using a set of experimental studies, this paper analyzes consumer reactions to these sponsorship terminations (i.e., early and non-renewal) that were not caused by a sponsee’s misconduct, the underlying process that causes the reactions, and the role of several moderating factors (trust, power balance, and locus of control). Our findings reveal that sponsorship terminations have a negative effect on sponsors’ brand images‐-particularly early terminations that occur before the end of a contract‐-because consumers perceive these sponsorship terminations as unfair. The results also suggest that a termination is particularly harmful for the sponsor’s perceived fairness if the sponsor is powerful and if the termination decision is under the sponsor’s control. Further, the termination effect is particularly strong for firms that consumers trust.

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Open reference in new window "Are sponsors blamed for edging off? Consumer reactions to sponsorship terminations"

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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Open reference in new window "Drivers of the Cost of Capital: The Joint Role of Non-Financial Metrics"

DOI: 10.15358/0344-1369-2012-2-140 

Abstract: Brand extension and co-branding are two brand strategies with numerous similarities, but also distinct differences. So far, the existing literature has analyzed these strategies without making a detailed comparison between them. That is why this study discusses the joint and differing opportunities and risks of these two strategies. Spill-over effects, cost synergies, image transfers, coordination and independence issues are assessed in detail. In addition, the study considers the critical success factors for each strategy, which is necessary for a final assessment of the different strategy benefits. These success factors include characteristics of the parent brand, product and brand fit as well as consumer and company characteristics. In this context, the study elaborates under which general conditions which strategy may be more preferable. In the end, it becomes clear that there are some advantages related to a co-branding strategy, which cannot be realized by pursuing a brand extension strategy.

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Open reference in new window "Brand Extension versus Co-Branding: Welche Strategie verspricht den größeren Erfolg?"

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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Open reference in new window "Critical Success Factors of Strategic Cost Reduction"

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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Open reference in new window "Cost Management Projects in Germany"

DOI: 10.1007/s11573-009-0302-5 

Abstract: Since the beginning of the 1990s cost management is widely discussed on a conceptual basis. Empirical research is mainly focused on special aspects of cost management. Especially, target costing is empirically analyzed. The results indicate the effectiveness of target costing, while some studies criticize its complexity and its results in terms of overengineered products. In general, empirical results with regard to cost management are very fragmented and ignore very often theoretical contributions. Particularly, empirical research neglects behavioral aspects of cost management. These behavioral aspects are important since theoretical research implies that cost management provokes opposition in business companies. With regard to the methodology the derived results are mainly based upon case studies and small samples within a special industrial environment. The data analysis is generally descriptive and does not allow to derive any managerial implications. Therefore, there is a lack of empirical conclusions with regard to which success factors are relevant in the context of cost management.

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Open reference in new window "Kostenmanagement: Bestandsaufnahme und kritische Beurteilung der empirischen Forschung"

DOI: 10.1007/s11573-007-0040-5 

Abstract: Previous empirical research on order of entry effects shows strong evidence for the existence of a first-mover advantage. Conventional strategic recommendations are therefore based on the assumption that pioneering is preferable in order to create competitive advantages. However, theoretical work has argued that there are also considerable potential advantages for early movers. But this hypothesis lacks empirical evidence, which is due to the limitations of previous empirical research designs. On the one hand, early movers have not been precisely separated from pioneers and late movers. On the other hand, previous research designs often specified a monotone relationship between order of entry and a success variable. As a consequence, it was not possible to find an inverted u-shaped relationship supporting the early mover advantage hypothesis. In this study, authors propose ways to overcome these limitations. An empirical application to 12 pharmaceutical markets finds a surprising early mover advantage that contrasts with the conventional wisdom in this industry.

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Open reference in new window "Pionier, Früher Folger oder Später Folger: Welche Strategie verspricht den größten Erfolg?"

DOI: 10.15358/0344-1369-2006-3-169 

Abstract: Im Rahmen der Markteintrittsstrategie muss sich jedes Unternehmen nicht nur mit der Frage auseinandersetzen, wo und wie, sondern vor allem wann ein neuer Markt betreten wird. Insbesondere für die Pionierstrategie ist diese Frage auf vielfältige theoretische und empirische Weise untersucht worden. Angesichts der Fülle der Arbeiten erscheint es lohnenswert, sich einen kritischen Überblick zu verschaffen. In diesem Beitrag soll eine Bestandsaufnahme der wichtigsten Studien erfolgen. Da gerade ältere Arbeiten häufig einen Pioniervorteil nachgewiesen haben, ist die Vorteilhaftigkeit des "First to Market" als empirische Verallgemeinerung formuliert worden. Bei einer genaueren Betrachtung der Arbeiten zeigen sich jedoch erhebliche Defizite bei der Modellwahl, der Variablenoperationalisierung und der verwendeten Datengrundlage, die die Ergebnisse in einem fragwürdigen Licht erscheinen lassen. Zusätzlich sind durch eine einseitige Konzentration auf den Pionier viele Fragen hinsichtlich der Folgerunternehmen unbeantwortet geblieben. Eine Agenda verschiedener Leitlinien zur zukünftigen Forschung wird auf der Basis der verschiedenen Kritikpunkte entwickelt.

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Open reference in new window "Empirische Verallgemeinerung des Pioniervorteils? Eine kritische Analyse existierender Arbeiten und Leitlinien für die weitere Forschung auf diesem Gebiet"

Journal Articles (Professional)

Abstract: Kostenmanagement wird in Unternehmen zumeist als sehr sensibles Thema betrachtet, da es häufig in Verbindung mit Rationalisierungsmaßnahmen und Arbeitsplatzabbau auftritt. Insofern ist es auch nicht verwunderlich, dass im Zusammenhang mit Kostenmanagement vielfach Widerstände der Betroffenen auftreten. Aufgrund einer großzahligen Erhebung wurde untersucht, inwieweit Unternehmen im Rahmen von Kostenmanagementprojekten diesen Widerständen begegnen und ob es ihnen gelingt, diese zu überwinden. Insbesondere weichen Faktoren kommt dabei eine besondere Bedeutung zu. Der folgende Beitrag stellt die wesentlichen Ergebnisse der Befragung dar und leitet entsprechende Managementempfehlungen ab.

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Open reference in new window "Erfolgsfaktoren des Kostenmanagements: Empfehlungen für Kostenmanagementprojekte"



Abstract: This cumulative dissertation consists of four essays which focus on critical success factors of cost management and market entry decisions. The first essay is a state-of-the-art article summing up empirical research in the cost management field. The second essay presents empirical results of a field study which especially examines the relevance of behavioral factors in comparison to methodical issues in respect of the implementation of cost management projects. Data were collected from 131 chief controllers and employees of controlling departments of medium-size and large German companies, and the relations were tested using path analysis. The results indicate that besides the quality of the planning process top management commitment and participation are of particular importance for implementing a successful cost management. The third essay is a state-of-the-art article summing up empirical research in the field of timing entry strategies (i.e., existence first mover advantages). The fourth essay proposes ways to overcome several limitations of current empirical research in this field. An empirical application to 12 pharmaceutical markets finds a surprising early mover advantage that contrasts with the conventional wisdom (i.e., first mover advantage) in this industry.

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Open reference in new window "Erfolgsfaktoren des Kostenmanagements und von Markteintrittsentscheidungen"

Abstract: Zu jeder Aufgabe wird eine detailliert kommentierte Musterlösung vorgestellt. Damit ermöglicht dieses Buch eine aktive Auseinandersetzung mit der Kostenrechnung sowie eine gezielte Prüfungsvorbereitung. Als Ergänzung des Lehrbuches Kostenrechnung in dieser Reihe bietet die vorliegende Sammlung von Aufgaben und Fallstudien ein anspruchsvolles Trainingsprogramm, um die Inhalte der Kostenrechnung einzuüben und zu vertiefen. Geboten werden eine didaktisch ausgewogene Mischung aus Multiple-Choice-Aufgaben, Fragestellungen zur Anwendung der Kostenrechnung sowie komplexen Fallstudien und Self-Assessment-Fragen aus den Bereichen Kostenarten-, Kostenstellen- und Kostenträgerrechnung, Standard- und Grenzplankostenrechnung sowie zu den Auswertungsrechnungen der Kostenrechnung. Das Buch richtet sich an Studierende wirtschaftswissenschaftlicher Studiengänge sowie Aus- und Fortzubildende in der Unternehmungspraxis. Es ist darauf ausgelegt, die Leser auf abzulegende Prüfungen optimal und umfassend vorzubereiten.

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Open reference in new window "Kostenrechnung"

Book Chapters

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-322-96406-9_19 

Abstract: Die Conjoint-Analyse ist zuerst in der Psychologie in den sechziger Jahren des vorigen Jahrhunderts eingesetzt worden (Luce und Tukey 1964). Green und Rao (1971) führten die Methode Anfang der siebziger Jahre in die Marketing-Literatur ein. Befragungen von Marktforschungsinstituten (Hartmann und Sattler 2002; Wittink, Vriens und Burhenne 1994) zeigen die große Bedeutung, die Conjoint-Analysen in der praktischen Anwendung heutzutage zukommt.

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Open reference in new window "Conjoint-Analysen"

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-8349-9121-8_6 

Abstract: Im Ablauf des empirischen Forschungsprozesses stellt sich nach der Festlegung der Datenerhebungsmethode und der entsprechenden Skalierung der zu untersuchenden Merkmale die Frage nach der Auswahl der Erhebungseinheiten, bei denen die Daten erhoben werden sollen. Diese Datenerhebung kann als Voll- oder Teilerhebung durchgeführt werden.

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Open reference in new window "Möglichkeiten der Stichprobenbildung"

Abstract: Bei jeder empirischen Untersuchung stellt sich die Frage nach der Qualität des Messvorgangs, die den Untersuchungserfolg und die Aussagefähigkeit der Ergebnisse entscheidend beeinflusst. Messfehler sind bei jedem Messvorgang, z.B. bei Persönlichkeitstests in der Psychologie oder Einstellungsfragebögen im Marketing, unvermeidbar. Daher muss es bei Messungen das Ziel sein, die Messqualität zu beurteilen und Messfehler zu minimieren. Traditionell werden in diesem Zusammenhang in der klassischen Testtheorie Haupt- und Nebengütekriterien betrachtet (Fisseni 2004, S. 46; Lienert und Raatz 1994, S. 7).

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Open reference in new window "Gütekriterien der Messung: Reliabilität, Validität und Generalisierbarkeit"

Case Studies

Abstract: Caroline Hansen is planning to open a dance club, called the Flood Club, in a new city quarter (the HafenCity) of Hamburg, Germany. She has gathered information on all costs that are relevant for her business venture. She has also found an investor willing to share ownership and also to provide the dance club with a long-term loan. Based on this scenario this case introduces fixed, variable and start-up costs, the contribution margin and the concept of break-even analysis.

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Open reference in new window "The Flood Club. KLU Case Study Series #1."