Robin Cooper

Robin Cooper - Toolshero

Robin Cooper is professor of financial management in the area of designing and practising of costing systems. He is the founder of financial systems like the M-approach and Activity Based Costing.

Biography Robin Cooper

Robin Cooper obtained his BSc. in Chemistry from the University of Manchester in 1972. Between 1975 and 1982, he obtained both his MBA degree and his DBA (doctorate) from Harvard Business School.

In the past few years Cooper has carried out a lot of research in the area of performance management, Activity Based Costing and the strategic alignment of organizations.

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Originally, Robin Cooper is a teacher, consultant and author.

In recent work, Cooper has done research on inter-organizational cost management, practical research on performance management and combining cost management systems with the product life cycle.

He has written several books with Robert Kaplan including the book ‘Cost & Effect: Using Integrated Cost Systems to Drive Profitability and Performance‘, a bestseller in the area of financial management.

Robin Cooper also appreciates the added value of the LEAN Manufacturing philosophy. In 1995, he published the book ‘When Lean Enterprises Collide‘ (1995), in which this philosophy is applied within eight innovative costing systems, with the basic principle to make careful considerations with respect to costs, quality and functionality.

Cooper has lectured at various universities including Goizueta Business School, Emory University and Harvard Business School (HBS). 

Cooper is currently a lecturer at the Peter F. Drucker Graduate Management Center and the Claremont Graduate University. He is also a visiting professor at the Strategic Cost Management Business School in Manchester.

Robin Cooper’s research and publications have captured various awards for instance in:

  • 2002. R. Lee Brummet Distinguished Service Award for Educators from the Institute of Management Accountants.
  • 1991 / 1993 Management Accounting Literature Award, 1991 & 1993 from the Management Accounting Department of the American Accounting Association.
  • 1990. Innovation in Accounting Education Award from the American Accounting Association.

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Publications and books by Robin Cooper et al.

  • 1998. The Design of Cost Management Systems. Pearson Education (Us).
  • 1998. The rise of activity-based costing, ‘All I: what is an activity-based cost system?’, J Cost Management 45 – 54.
  • 1997. Cost and Effect: Using Integrated Cost Systems to Drive Profitability and Performance. Harvard Business School Publishing.
  • 1997. Target Costing and Value Engineering. Taylor &Amp; Francis Inc.
  • 1996. Toyota Motor Corporation, Harvard Business School Case, Forthcoming.
  • 1996. Control Tomorrow’s Cost Through Today’s Designs, Harvard Business Review, Jan-Feb, 88-97.
  • 1995. When Lean Enterprises Collide: Competing Through Confrontation, Cambridge, MA, Harvard Business School Press.
  • 1994. Topcon Corporation, Harvard Business School, Case 9-195-082.
  • 1994. Sony Corporation, Harvard Business School Case 9-195-076.
  • 1994. Olympus Optical Company Ltd. (A), Harvard Business School Case 9-195-072.
  • 1994. Nissan Motor Company, Ltd., Harvard Business School Case 9-194-040.
  • 1994. Komatsu Ltd. (A), Harvard Business School Case 9-194-037.
  • 1987. Accounting and Management: Field Study Perspective. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.

How to cite this article:
Van Vliet, V. (2010). Robin Cooper. Retrieved [insert date] from Toolshero:

Published on: 11/14/2010 | Last update: 07/22/2022

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Vincent van Vliet
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Vincent van Vliet is co-founder and responsible for the content and release management. Together with the team Vincent sets the strategy and manages the content planning, go-to-market, customer experience and corporate development aspects of the company.


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