The role of accounting in the processes of health reform: providing a black box in the costing of blood products

Alan D. Lowe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The purpose of this paper is to provide an explanation and understanding of developments in casemix related information systems at a large regional hospital, Health Waikato (HW), in the center of the North Island of New Zealand. The themes will be explicated and theorised drawing upon the sociology of translation. A central idea will be the use of accounting techniques to influence decision makers within a health institution. The power of accounting in the translation and inscription of data, will be a central theme in understanding the role of accounting systems as technology. This paper provides a detailed description of the implementation of accounting technology at the research site. The paper consists primarily of a description of the application of a conventional costing technique to a crucial service area within a large health provider: the costing of blood products.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)439-458
Number of pages20
JournalManagement Accounting Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1997



  • case study
  • health sector
  • cost accounting
  • sociology of translation

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