PhD defense: Ken Blindheim

PhD Defense

30 November 2010 16:14

(updated: 20 May 2016 16:15)

PhD defense: Ken Blindheim

On Tuesday 30 November Ken Andre Blindheim will hold a trial lecture on a prescribed topic, and defend his thesis for the PhD degree at NHH.

As a management accounting concept, strategic management accounting (SMA) has existed for years. Despite its long presence in the accounting literature and the many reviews on the topic, SMA is still depicted as elusive. As the first study of its kind, this dissertation goes back to the roots of management accounting, develops a new analytical framework, and based on this analytical framework, concretizes and analyzes the notion of SMA from a cornerstone management accounting perspective.

The main aim is to identify, define, and clarify the conceptual foundation of what the accounting literature has termed SMA by presenting SMA at a more detailed level than shown in previous studies.

In high-ranking accounting journals, the academic development of SMA seems to have followed two main avenues. In the first avenue, SMA has been developed to fulfil a managerial need for quantified information. In this study, this research stream is reviewed as a set of management tools. The study identifies which management tools are headed under the SMA label, what type of quantified information they are technically construed to provide, what managerial help can be obtained from using them, and their novelty in comparison with conventional approaches used in management accounting.

The study also discusses the theoretical foundation that has inspired and underpinned the development of these management tools and whether SMA has become part of what Horngren et al. (2009) see as conventional wisdom in management accounting.

Underpinned by contingency theory, the second avenue the development of SMA has followed discusses the relevance of management tools due to different generic strategies executed by firms.

Based on Hax and Wilde (2001, 1999) and Treacy and Wiersema (1995, 1993) and their definition of a product-differentiator and customer-intimacy company, this study examines how the customer is treated by two high-performing companies executing different generic strategies. The findings reveal not only several "relevance differences", but some "relevance equalities" as well.

Prescribed topic for the trial lecture:
Strategic Management Accounting - success or failure?

Time of the trial lecture:
10:15 in Karl Borch's Auditorium, NHH

Title of the thesis:
Perspectives on strategic management accounting

Time and place for the defense:
12:15 in Karl Borch's Auditorium, NHH

Members of the evaluation committee:
Professor Øyvind Helgesen, Aalesund University College, chairperson
Professor Falconer Mitchell, Edinburgh University
Professor Hanne Nørreklit, Århus University

Supervising committee:
Professor Trond Bjørnenak, NHH (principal supervisor)
Professor Christian Ax, Handelshøgskolen i Göteborg

The trial lecture and thesis defense will be open to the public. Copies of the thesis will be available from: