Advanced Management Accounting (not offered)

BUS427 Advanced Management Accounting (not offered)

Autumn 2021

  • Topics

    The course consists of three parts, each representing an important stream of research in management accounting and control.


    Part 1: Cost concepts, costing systems and controversies

    This part of the course begins by exploring in detail definitions of several central cost concepts for decision making such as incremental cost, opportunity cost, and cross-subsidization. Furthermore, some controversies about definitions of these concepts are discussed. The cost concepts are then positioned in the larger setting of a sophisticated costing system. We examine resource granularity and how it may be applied to integrate opportunity cost into a costing system. Part 1 concludes with a review of the Marginalist controversy or Reality gap from a management accounting perspective.


    Part 2: Management accounting innovations: technical aspects and diffusion

    This part of the course starts with a revision of costing traditions and practices, conceptual modeling of costing systems, and the design and use of costing systems in different settings. It then proceeds by examining the important issue of diffusion of new management accounting techniques. How and why do management accounting techniques spread across organizations? We also address specific management accounting techniques, such as the use of non-financial measures in Balanced scorecards. Finally, recent developments in management accounting, including the criticism of budgets (Beyond budgeting) are discussed.


    Part 3: Contingency theory, control packages, and corporate governance

    In this part, management accounting and control is positioned in a broader context. Firstly, we address the field of corporate governance and its relationship to management control systems and models. Secondly, contingency studies are used to explain how external and internal factors in the environment impact on the design and use of management control systems. Such factors include for example size, industry, environmental uncertainty, technology and firm performance. We also examine a more recent development within contingency theory: control configurations. A firm consists of a variety of management control practices that are characterized by both complementarity and subsitutability. They form distinct control systems and control packages, which we are interested to examine further. 

  • Learning outcome

    Upon successful completion of the course the student



    • will have developed an understanding of the concepts and theories which management accounting and control is based on.
    • will have knowledge of the various research methods used in management accounting and control.
    • can demonstrate knowledge of the most recent research in the field of management accounting and control.
    • will have a frame of reference that is useful for writing the master thesis in management accounting and control.




    • have advanced skills in costing methods for decision-making and control.
    • can explain concepts such as Resource granularity, Marginalist controversy and Reality gap using economics and accounting theory.
    • understand how diffusion theory can be used to analyze how and why management accounting innovations spread.
    • can analyze the assumptions, design and use of management accounting techniques such as the Balanced scorecard as well as more recent developments such as Beyond budgeting.
    • understand the differences between a management accounting practice, management control system and management control package.
    • position management accounting and control in a broader contextual setting.
    • have knowledge about the topic of corporate governance and its relationship to accounting.


    General competence


    • can critically evaluate research in management accounting.
    • can communicate with specialists in both academia and practice about complex issues in management accounting.

  • Teaching

    Lectures, group assignments

  • Recommended prerequisites

    The literature is mainly based on research articles.

    Some prior knowledge of metdods in management accounting and control is recommended.

  • Requirements for course approval

    Written group assignments.

  • Assessment

    Written and individual school-based exam, 4 hours.

  • Grading Scale


  • Literature

    Collection of articles and readings provided on the learning platform (Canvas).


ECTS Credits
Teaching language

Spring. Not offered spring 2021.

Course responsible

Daniel Johanson, Associate Professor, Department of Accounting, Auditing and Law, Norwegian School of Economics.