Issues in Management Accounting

The details
Essex Business School
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 6
Monday 13 January 2020
Friday 20 March 2020
08 October 2019


Requisites for this module



Key module for

BSC N400 Accounting,
BSC N401 Accounting (Including Foundation Year),
BSC N402 Accounting (Including Year Abroad),
BSC N404 Accounting (Including Placement Year),
BSC N4L1 Accounting with Economics (Including Foundation Year),
BSC NKL1 Accounting with Economics (Including Year Abroad),
BSC NL41 Accounting with Economics,
BSC NL44 Accounting with Economics (Including Placement Year),
BA L147 Financial Economics and Accounting (Including Placement Year),
BA L148 Financial Economics and Accounting,
BA L149 Financial Economics and Accounting (Including Year Abroad)

Module description

This module builds upon previous study of the subject and begins by locating management accounting within the economic, political, social and cultural contexts. The module goes on to evaluate contemporary management accounting research and developments in the context of practical 'real-life' business case studies. The module discusses and applies conventional and contemporary management accounting principles and techniques to practical problems and scenarios. In the light of recent dramatic changes to the business environment such as deregulation, globalisation, reduced product life cycles, continuous improvement objectives and increasing customer sophistication, the module then moves on to look at management accounting from a strategic perspective. Key issues such as strategic cost management, performance measurement and management controls will be examined in detail. The module also critically evaluates the diffusion of management accounting systems in the privatised sector and critically appraises the influence of new organizational forms and new technologies on the role of management accounting nationally and internationally.

Module aims

This module aims:
1. to provide students with broader understanding of management accounting by locating it within the socio-political, socio-economic and socio-cultural contexts;
2. to support and encourage education and learning, and foster the capacity for individual study;
3. to encourage and facilitate critical, analytical thinking as a foundation for subsequent academic study, employment and personal development;
4. to provide the necessary support to enable the successful completion of the degree;
5. to develop active learning and self-assessment skills.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students will be able to:
1. Gain an appreciation of the importance of keeping abreast of current and future research into the field of management accounting given the ever-evolving competitive environment and the wider context in which management accounting operates.
2. Develop an understanding of management accounting within an economic, political, social and cultural context.
3. Understand strategic and performance measurement issues in management accounting.
4. Understand global management control practices and the role of accounting information in globalisation and privatisation.
5. Develop an understanding of management accounting’s role in organisational change, creativity and innovation.
6. Understand comparative management accounting practices in varied contexts.

Module information

No additional information available.

Learning and teaching methods

The module will be delivered over 10 weeks, consisting of one 2-hour lecture/workshop per week plus 1-hour fortnightly classes. In addition, one revision lecture will be held during the summer term. Students are required to attend all lectures/workshops and classes. They are expected to prepare for these sessions in advance by undertaking the essential readings and preparing a draft answer for class discussion questions. During classes, students are expected to participate actively by leading/taking part in class discussions and/or responding to issues raised by teaching staff or peers.


  • Cooper, Stuart M.; Owen, David L. (2007-10) 'Corporate social reporting and stakeholder accountability: The missing link', in Accounting, Organizations and Society. vol. 32 (7-8) , pp.649-667
  • Deegan, Craig; Blomquist, Christopher. (2006-7) 'Stakeholder influence on corporate reporting: An exploration of the interaction between WWF-Australia and the Australian minerals industry', in Accounting, Organizations and Society. vol. 31 (4-5) , pp.343-372
  • Hansen, A.; Mouritsen, J. (2007) 'Management accounting and changing operations management', in Issues in management accounting, Harlow: Prentice Hall., pp.3-24
  • Trevor Hopper; Mathew Tsamenyi; Shahzad Uddin; Danture Wickramasinghe. (2009) 'Management accounting in less developed countries: what is known and needs knowing', in Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal: Emerald Group Publishing LimitedJossey-BassMarshall Edition Developments LtdCambridge University PressSageVersoSt Martin's PressPrentice-Hall, Harvester WheatsheafZed BooksEdinburgh University PressEddison PressMacmillanSage PublicationsDuke UniversitySocial Scientist Association and Sanjiva BooksMartin RobertsonUniversity of California PressCornell University PressHeinemannZed BooksPalgrave MacmillanZed BooksFEP Publisher LtdAvan Global PublicationsPraegerMcGraw HillCauseway PressUniversity Press LimitedBangladesh Institute of Development StudiesAllen Lane, Penguin BooksMacmillanBlackwellElgarChatto and WindusUniversity of Chicago PressDevelopment Research Group, World Bank. vol. 22 (3) , pp.469-514
  • Naranjo-Gil, D; Hartmann, F. (2006) 'How Top Management Teams Use Management Accounting Systems to Implement Strategy.', in Journal of Management Accounting Research. vol. 18, pp.21-
  • Carla Rhianon Edgley; Michael John Jones; Jill Frances Solomon. (2010) 'Stakeholder inclusivity in social and environmental report assurance', in Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal: Emerald Group Publishing LimitedAccountAbilityAccountAbilityCommission of the European CommunitiesFédération des Experts Comptables EuropéensThe Continuum International Publishing GroupGlobal Reporting InitiativeCalder and BoyarsIFACDemosOxford University PressCIMAJohn Wiley & Sons. vol. 23 (4) , pp.532-557
  • Ittner, Christopher D. (2003) 'Coming Up Short on Nonfinancial Performance Measurement.', in Harvard Business Review. vol. 81 (11) , pp.88-
  • Carr, Chris; Tomkins, Cyril. (1998-6) 'Context, culture and the role of the finance function in strategic decisions. A comparative analysis of Britain, Germany, the U.S.A. and Japan', in Management Accounting Research. vol. 9 (2) , pp.213-239
  • Agndal, Henrik; Nilsson, Ulf. (2009-6) 'Interorganizational cost management in the exchange process', in Management Accounting Research. vol. 20 (2) , pp.85-101
  • Evangeline Elijido-Ten; Louise Kloot; Peter Clarkson. (2010) 'Extending the application of stakeholder influence strategies to environmental disclosures: An exploratory study from a developing country', in Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal: Emerald Group Publishing LimitedACCARandom HouseCambridge University PressRoutledgeMcGraw Hill Book CompanyThe Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, Certified Accountants Educational TrustEnvironmental and Sustainability Services Group, Ernst & YoungPitmanCambridge University PressSage PublicationsPrentice-HallKPMG InternationalKPMG InternationalSage PublicationsSage PublicationsSage PublicationsSage PublicationsSage PublicationsHarvard University PressHarper & RowCambridge University PressRoutledgeUniversity of California PressSage PublicationsSage Publications. vol. 23 (8)
  • Burns, J.; Baldvinsdottir, G. (2007) 'The Changing role of management accountants', in Issues in management accounting, Harlow: Prentice Hall., pp.117-132
  • Seal, W. B.; Rohde, Carsten; Garrison, Ray H.; Noreen, Eric W. (2019) Management accounting, London: McGraw-Hill Education.
  • Northcott, D.; Alkaraan, F. (2007) 'Strategic Investment Appraisal', in Issues in management accounting, Harlow: Prentice Hall.
  • Currie, W. (1995) 'Chapter 15: A Comparative Analysis of Management Accounting in Japan, USA, UK and West Germany', in Issues in management accounting, London: Prentice Hall., pp.321-346
  • Ittner, Christopher D; Larcker, David F; Randall, Taylor. (2003-10) 'Performance implications of strategic performance measurement in financial services firms', in Accounting, Organizations and Society. vol. 28 (7-8) , pp.715-741
  • Seal, W. B.; Garrison, Ray H.; Noreen, Eric W. (c2012) Management accounting, Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill Higher Education.
  • Drury, Colin. (2018) Management and cost accounting, Andover: CENGAGE.
  • Wijethilake, Chaminda1,2, Rahat1,2, Ranjith1,2 (2017) 'Strategic responses to institutional pressures for sustainability.', in Accounting, Auditing & Accountability. vol. 30 (Issue 8) , pp.1677-1710
  • Roger L. Burritt; Stefan Schaltegger. (2010) 'Sustainability accounting and reporting: fad or trend?', in Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal: Emerald Group Publishing LimitedScholars Book Co.Edward ElgarSpringerRoutledgeGreenleaf PublishingEdward ElgarHauptVDFThe Controllership FoundationRoutledgeOxford University PressEarthscanCenter for International Education and Research in Accounting. vol. 23 (7) , pp.829-846
  • Otley, David. (2001-09) 'Extending the Boundaries of Management Accounting Research: Developing Systems for Performance Management', in The British Accounting Review. vol. 33 (3) , pp.243-261
  • Norreklit, Hanne. (2000-3) 'The balance on the balanced scorecard a critical analysis of some of its assumptions', in Management Accounting Research. vol. 11 (1) , pp.65-88
  • Gray, Rob. (2010-1) 'Is accounting for sustainability actually accounting for sustainability…and how would we know? An exploration of narratives of organisations and the planet', in Accounting, Organizations and Society. vol. 35 (1) , pp.47-62
  • Seal, W. B. (c2015) Management accounting, Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill Education.
  • Nikos KartalisMathew TsamenyiKelum Jayasinghe. (2016) 'Accounting in new public management (NPM) and shifting organizational boundaries : Evidence from the Greek Show Caves', in Accounting, Auditing & Accountability. vol. 29 (2) , pp.248-277
  • Byrne, Seán; Pierce, Bernard. (2007-09) 'Towards a More Comprehensive Understanding of the Roles of Management Accountants', in European Accounting Review. vol. 16 (3) , pp.469-498
  • Kaplan, Robert S. (2001) 'Transforming the Balanced Scorecard from Performance Measurement to Strategic Management: Part I.', in Accounting Horizons. vol. 15 (1) , pp.87-
  • Waal, André de. (2013) Strategic performance management: a managerial and behavioural approach, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Conrad, Lynne a, ?Guven Uslu, Pinar b, 1. (2012) 'UK health sector performance management: Conflict, crisis and unintended consequences', in In Accounting Forum. vol. 36 (4) , pp.231-250
  • Ferreira, Aldónio; Otley, David. (2009-12) 'The design and use of performance management systems: An extended framework for analysis', in Management Accounting Research. vol. 20 (4) , pp.263-282

The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course. The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students. Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework SPRING TERM
Exam 120 minutes during Summer (Main Period) (Main)

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
30% 70%


Coursework Exam
30% 70%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Thankom Arun, Daniela Pianezzi, Shaila Ahmed



External examiner

Prof Joan Amanda Emery
University of Ulster
Professor of Accounting
Available via Moodle
Of 34 hours, 34 (100%) hours available to students:
0 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information
Essex Business School

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