Postgraduate Course: Management Control for Risk and Uncertainty (ACCN11003)
||College||College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
||Availability||Not available to visiting students
|Summary||Too often numerical calculations informing decision making are seen as mere tools which deliver neutral answers. This is never the case, let alone in contemporary organisations and societies where the scale of complexity, risk and uncertainty makes clear that calculations have to be seen as an exercise to explore possible solutions rather than as a set of techniques which deliver correct answers.
The course draws on this assumption to equip participants with a critical understanding of the functioning and use of financial data and metrics in complex organizations and projects. It will do so by combining business with insights from history, science and technology studies, literature and sociology to make course participants view familiar accounting and management reports under a new light and from a different perspective. This will allow them to conceive of, and design, management control systems as platform and interfaces to devise expert governance and wise leadership.
The course aims to provide participants with an adequate understanding of how technical tools are utilised in decision making (e.g. price setting), in project management (e.g. performance evaluation and programme mobilisation) and for external reporting exercises (e.g. stakeholders' management through financial reporting).
Financial management and controls in managing large projects
The roles of accounting in organizations
Sources of risk and uncertainty when dealing with complex decision making processes
Transparency, objectivity and independence in decision making
On decision making under uncertainty (I): tools, principles and issues
On decision making under uncertainty (II): mapping risks?
How to manage under uncertainty
Building effective management control systems for managing risk and uncertainty (I)
Identifying principles for good management control system design
Building effective management control systems for managing risk and uncertainty (II): Issues of wisdom, visibility and governance
Re-defining wisdom, visibility and governance in making decisions under uncertainty
Designing the architecture of effective reporting, governance and leadership systems
STUDENT LEARNING EXPERIENCE
Participants are required to do a substantial amount of work before coming to class. They will be assigned to study groups before the commencement of the module and group members are encouraged to share their impressions on the readings/case material. The module convener will also ask participants to share their knowledge on management control and risk management and link this knowledge to the cases and readings outlined in this course outline.
The role of the module leader will often be that of a facilitator of debates rather than a traditional lecturer that transmits pre-packaged knowledge. Thus, once in class, participants will be asked to bring their own experience in financial management issues. Class participation will be a key feature of the learning experience. Cases and readings will be thus utilised for developing a critical attitude towards ready-made managing solutions rather than as providing 'instructions' or definite 'guidelines' on how to deal with cost control, planning and monitoring of in complex organisations.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| For Business School PG students only, or by special permission of the School. Please contact the course secretary.
|Additional Costs|| None
Course Delivery Information
|Not being delivered|
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Understand the use in practice and limitations of basic financial techniques to assess the viability of projects, major programmes and complex organisations.
- Critically apply evaluation techniques to value large investments in infrastructure and be aware of the limitation of such techniques.
- Design financial metrics to monitor performance and risk.
- Utilise performance measurement and control techniques to mobilise change, increase chances of success and avoid failure
- Be aware of the organisational, political and social role that accounting figures can play in practical settings and in managing complex stakeholders¿ relationships.
Macintosh, N. Quattrone, P., (2010). Management Accounting and Control Systems: An Organizational and Sociological Approach. New York: John Wiley (ISBN:978-0-470-71447-8): Chapters 3, 8, 9, 10, 11.
The selected book chapters introduce a different approach to management control in situations where the link between information and action is not clear or opaque. This helps to set the scene for discussing various roles that accounting and control play in organizations and could play in order to manage risk and uncertainty.
Advised Preparatory Work:
No preparatory work is required. Students who are not familiar with NPV analysis may want to look at:
Finnerty, JD., (2013). Project financing: asset-based financial engineering. New York: John Wiley. Chapters 4, 5, 7, 8, 9.
Any other source dealing with NPV and investment valuations will also be acceptable.
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
||Students will conceive of, and design, management control systems as platform and interfaces to devise expert governance and wise leadership.
Participants will gain an adequate understanding of how technical tools are utilised in decision making (e.g. price setting), in project management (e.g. performance evaluation and programme mobilisation) and for external reporting exercises (e.g. stakeholders' management through financial reporting).