Structure of the specialisation in Management Control

Structure of the specialisation in Management Control

Goals, learning outcome, assessment and modules for our EMBA with spesialisation in Management Control

  • Goals for the specialisation

    Goals for the specialisation

    The specialisation is a unique interdisciplinary study that provides a current and future-oriented management education. Through problem-based learning, students will learn how to understand and analyse value creation in companies, and how to increasing sustainable value creation through decisions, management and leadership.

    The specialisation intends to

    • give the students research-based knowledge of financial management, leadership, organisation, finance, accounting, marketing, strategy, international economy, innovation, digitalisation, ethics etc.
    • give the students good analytical skills within fields such as strategic analysis, profitability analysis, financial statement analysis, investment analysis, valuation etc.
    • give the students up-to-date knowledge of how different management tools can be used strategically to increase value creation in an enterprise in light of new technological possibilities and challenges
    • give the students skills in how to apply theories and tools through work on real company cases
    • provide opportunities for networking through learning and development both in and outside the classroom.
  • Learning outcome

    Learning outcome

    After completing the programme, candidates are expected to have achieved the following overall learning outcomes defined in terms of knowledge, skills and general competence:


    The candidate has

    • in-depth knowledge of key topics from the discipline’s strategy, management, organisation, marketing, operational analysis, accounting, finance and economics (microeconomics and macroeconomics)
    • specialist insight into financial management and how different financial management tools can contribute to the development and implementation of strategies and plans, including taking an active approach to the risk taken and utilising the possibilities offered by information systems
    • broad insight into the opportunities and challenges managers in organisations encounter at the operational and strategic levels, including the effect of cyclical, demographic, ethical, environmental, social and technological changes and risk factors on society and on the organisations
    • knowledge of how enterprises can utilise new technology in the form of digitalisation and new business models
    • knowledge of how managers can respond to and control changes
    • knowledge of how creativity, innovation and transfer of knowledge can be influenced in small, newly formed organisations and larger, established enterprises
    • knowledge of how ethical conduct and sustainable development goals can be included as a natural part of strategic and financial analyses, as well as in an enterprise's management system (including risk management)
    • an understanding of how global circumstances and trends in established and emerging economies, as well as how cultural differences between countries, influence organisations and the way in which they are managed and led


    The candidate is capable of: 

    • using advanced methods to analyse the profitability of products, customers, business models, entities and enterprises
    • analysing enterprises' comparative advantages and how they can be developed and strengthened
    • using advanced analysis tools to improve decision-making, including analyses of costs, customer profitability, strategic options, accounts, projects, financial investments, and the value of enterprises
    • using relevant financial management tools to encourage contribution to increased value creation by other members of the organisation (e.g., management by objectives, key figures, transfer pricing, budgeting, forecasts, scenarios, and incentives)
    • applying his or her knowledge about management to relevant management situations (e.g., management of a team, changes, or negotiations in different cultural settings)
    • taking a critical approach to different sources of information and using them to structure and formulate arguments in the relevant fields
    • studying various issues as part of research and consultancy projects using recognised quantitative and non-quantitative methods

    General competence

    The candidate

    • has a good understanding of fundamental mechanisms and tools, so that his/her knowledge and skills can also be applied to new issues in a digital era
    • is capable of reflecting on ethical issues and sustainability in his/her own organisation
    • is capable of communicating extensive independent work in writing using language that is appropriate to the specific field
    • is capable of discussing subject-related issues and analyses with specialists as well as with the general public
    • is capable of contributing to fresh thinking and innovation processes
  • Assessment


    Students are assessed both individually and in groups during the study. The group work takes place in connection with the master's dissertation, while individual assessment is given for individual home exams.

    • Individual home exam (grades A – F): At the end of each semester, students have an individual home exam where they are tested in the theories and topics covered in each subject module.
    • Independent work (pass/fail): The students must throughout the course of study work with written works that amount to a total of 30 ECTS. The written works must overall show understanding, reflection and maturation. Students have access to academic supervision throughout the study.
  • Organisation of the specialisation

    Organisation of the specialisation

    The specialisation is an experience-based master’s degree programme with a scope of 90 ECTS. It is taught as a part-time course of study over a continuous period of two years and includes, five subject modules given in 17 physical study sessions as well as a series of digital seminars between these sessions. The specialisation includes an independent work (master’s thesis) worth 30 ECTS, which is written under academic supervision. The independent work consists of three parts.

    The teaching takes place mainly in the form of intensive physical study sessions, which usually extend over three days. In the digital meetings, students will work on cases and receive supervision and professional top-up. The programme also includes two study trips to cooperating educational institutions abroad. The study trips have a duration of three to five days.

    Most of the teaching will take place in the Oslo area, but some sessions will be held at NHH in Bergen.

  • Module 1: Strategic profitability analysis and customer orientation

    Module 1: Strategic profitability analysis and customer orientation

    In this module, we focus on product and customer profitability. The module starts with a modern understanding of enterprises’ cost structure and how this is influenced by new technology. We then look at how this understanding can be useful in decision-making situations for different purposes. Particular emphasis is placed on decisions of a strategic nature, e.g. what products and client segments we should target and what business model we should choose for the enterprise. Technically speaking, we look at activity-based costing and management, profit potential, customer profitability and segment analyses. The calculation of capital costs (interest and depreciation) is an important part of the analyses, and we discuss how the required rate of return should be fixed. Another key element is how companies can utilize customer data in various decisions. This module also introduces topics such as marketing, digital innovations and management.

  • Module 2: Strategy, management and accounting

    Module 2: Strategy, management and accounting

    In Module 2 our focus shifts from products and customers to organizational units. Here we discuss and integrate strategic analysis, financial analysis and sustainable business models. The module starts with a review of important strategic analysis tools, with the emphasis on analysis of the competitive arena and strategic resources. Financial analyses provide important input to the strategic analyses. We take the perspective of an external analyst as our point of departure, and key figure analysis is combined with insight into accounting principles. In the course of strategy work it is natural to consider what is ethically justifiable and how sustainable business models can be developed. The focus is then shifted toward the use of non-financial key figures and dynamic management systems, which are discussed in comparison with more traditional budgeting practices. We also look at how organisation and management are related and consider whether risk management could be an integrated part of the organisation's management system.

  • Module 3: Innovation and finance

    Module 3: Innovation and finance

    In Module 3, we will look at innovation and investment from a strategic, management, technological and economic perspective. We start by considering how external circumstances such as the international economy and business cycles, can give rise to both a need for change and innovation opportunities. Innovation and investment involves often challenges and therefore we receive a thorough introduction to the role that senior and middle management play in change processes. During our stay at Bocconi University (Milan), we learn more about how differentiation strategies can be developed and implemented. While in Milan, we will of course also discuss how framework conditions, industry structure and corporate culture vary between countries. Back in Norway, we will continue our discussion of how value chains can be optimised and what opportunities technological innovation present for new business models. Changes can require major investments, and in this module, we will also learn about how the profitability of investments can be assessed when the gain is not realised for a long time to come. Finally, we look at how enterprises can be funded and what financial instruments can be used to reduce risk. Overall, the module is intended to impart an understanding of how enterprises can develop, assess, finance and manage new projects that entail change and innovation.

  • Module 4: Valuation and general management and control

    Module 4: Valuation and general management and control

    In Module 4, we combine knowledge from the previous modules to valuate an enterprise. This requires both strategic and financial analyses, seen in light of the potential future development opportunities. M&A give rise to new challenges with regards to management and control, and we discuss how enterprises can be organised as responsibility centres and how internal markets (with transfer pricing and financial incentives for individuals) can be used in an organisation. We will continue to discuss organisational culture and management, as well as how negotiations are conducted. Our discussion on management and control in this module will also be linked to what we have learnt about these topics in the previous modules in order to comprehend management systems that can contribute to increasing sustainable value creation in companies. Module 4 concludes with a stay in Asia, where we learn more about how enterprises can expand across national borders and the management and control challenges such expansion entails.

  • Module 5: Integration

    Module 5: Integration

    In the concluding module, we continue to integrate insights from the four preceding modules. One of the methods used is a two-day business simulation game that includes everything from strategy and investment analyses to marketing, value chain optimisation, ethics and management challenges. Afterwards, we learn more about teams and team management that can be directly related to experience gained from the business simulation game. There will also be a concluding lecture on management at which we discuss conflicts and destructive management. As an integrating element, we will consider how different management tools and mechanisms can interact in what is known as the control package. We will receive more input on how new technology and digitalisation can provide new opportunities and challenges for enterprises. Finally, we receive a final status report on the global macroeconomic picture. An important part of the final module is an extensive master assignment that allows students to integrate knowledge from the different modules and apply their knowledge to a practical problem in an enterprise.