Purpose-This paper aims to examine the implementation of target cost management (TCM) at a Japanese shipbuilding company. Design/methodology/ approach-Using Rogers' Diffusion of Innovation as a framework, the paper presents a longitudinal in-depth case study of TCM implementation project to show the issues involved in implementing TCM. Findings-The paper finds that the diffusion of TCM is a consequence of a deliberate managerial activity-which in this case is the control over the TCM implementation. The TCM implementation project in our case ended in failure. The paper shows that the lack of appropriate controls over the TCM implementation project was the main reason for its failure. Originality/value-The paper shows how TCM implementation is a part of the process of TCM diffusion within an organisation. In the previous studies of TCM, researchers have noted how well-managed TCM implementation projects were; thus, suggesting how TCM implementation should take place. The paper focuses on the control over the TCM implementation, simply because TCM does not naturally diffuse throughout an organisation.
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