Collaborative Journal article regarding Caterpillar business practices earns top award

November 26, 2013

An article written by two Bradley professors, and two alumni received the Institute of Management Accountants’ (IMA) top award.

An IMA member, retired accounting professor Dr. John Gillett recently received a gold medal in the annual Lybrand Awards Manuscript Competition. The gold medal recognizes the paper as the best paper submitted the past year.  Dr. Gillett’s co-authors, Dr. Ross Fink, management and leadership professor; Whitney Cox, a graduate student when the project began and a 2009 graduate of the master of science in accounting program; and David G. DeFreitas, a 1987 Bradley graduate of the accounting program and a Caterpillar Inc. executive, received certificates of appreciation.

“Getting Lean and Mean at Caterpillar with ABM”, the award-winning article, was the cover story in the January 2013 issue of Strategic Finance, published by IMA. The article discusses how one of Caterpillar’s divisions used a new approach with its time-honored, activity-based costing (ABC) methodology to pull it through the most recent recession and to prepare for the next downturn.

The article began when Dr. Gillett saw DeFreitas’ presentation on the topic and approached him regarding the idea of converting his presentation into a paper. He recruited Cox, a graduate student at the time, and Dr. Fink to assist with the paper.

Dr. Fink said, “The interesting part of this article is that an executive from Caterpillar who is heavily involved with the Foster College of Business and an alumnus, a graduate student, and professors from two departments all worked together on the manuscript.  It is rare that you see this type of collaboration.  Obviously, we all are very pleased with the recognition this article received.”