Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science

First Advisor

Mark Caudle, PhD

Second Advisor

David Petrillo, PhD


The purpose of this study was to examine the initial implementation of an Activity Based Costing (ABC) system within the United States Air Force's Research Laboratories (AFRL). We were attempting to ascertain what the initial purposes for implementing ABC within AFRL were, then determine whether or not those goals were being attained. We also attempted to evaluate the current system's appropriateness for achieving those initial purposes. Finally, we provide suggested changes to the model and areas for future research. We noted problems with AFRL's current ABC system. We were able to condense the problem into two main categories. First, when the system was initially designed, it was hampered by a rigid structure that was predetermined and there was also insufficient training for the personnel in charge of development. The second category is concerned with the implementation of their current system. There were many steps that could have been taken to ensure a successful ABC system. We believe ABC is a potentially beneficial tool that can be used by AFRL if it is developed and implemented in a different manner. ABC, as it is currently being wed, is not a beneficial tool at lower levels within AFRL. In order to attain the fill benefits of an ABC system, it must be beneficial to those lower levels where cost savings could be found.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number



Co-authored thesis. Author Vita pages are omitted.