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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Business School : Accounting

Undergraduate Course: Management accounting and control systems: A strategic and organisational perspective (ACCN10030)

Course Outline
SchoolBusiness School CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course examines Management Accounting and Control Systems (MACS) through strategic and organisational lenses. It will locate changes in management accounting practice within the context of technological, organisational, and broader social and economic change. It will investigate why conventional control systems cannot explain organisational form and governance choices in contemporary settings. We will reflect on the strategic relevance of controls by problematising the role of MACS in various sectors and cases, including topics from new directions in MACS research, such as the roles of accounting in grand challenges and the management of crises, the visualisation of accounting formation, and accounting and control in platform organisations. Upon completing this module successfully, students are expected to understand better topics such as Strategic Management Accounting and Control, Performance Measurement and Management, and Inter-Organisational Relations. This will enable them to have a more profound appreciation of the organisational, strategic, and societal impact of accounting.
Course description The course will provide a historically and sociologically informed understanding of the changing role of MACS in organisations and, by extension, the role of management accountants. It will enable students to theoretically locate changes in management accounting practice within the context of technological, organisational, social, and economic change. In so doing, it will enable students to hone their critical thinking abilities, which are vital for an effective understanding of how MACS is used in managing organisations.

Outline Content

The changing roles of management accountants

Linking MACS to strategy: The levers of control framework

Strategy and Management Control

The Balanced Scorecard and strategy execution

Inter-organisational Relations I: Transaction Cost Economics & MACS in Markets and Hierarchies

Inter-organisational Relations II: MACS in hybrids and accounting for platform organization

MACS in High-Reliability Organisations (HROs) and crises

Dealing with risk in a risk society

Strategic Management Accounting and the visualization of accounting information

Revision and assessment preparation

Student Learning Experience

This module will adopt a topic-based approach, strongly emphasising independent learning. Students will receive reading materials (almost exclusively research papers) ahead of each lecture, and the lectures will focus on specific aspects of the readings, helping students contextualise the materials. Due to the modules broad coverage of numerous topics, many lacking definitive answers, the assessment will emphasise students critical thinking and analytical abilities.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Management Accounting Applications (ACCN10010)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students must have at least 4 Business Studies courses at grade B or above.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  80
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 20, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 176 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 60% Essay (Individual) - 1500 words - Assesses all course Learning Outcomes

40% Project report (Group) - Includes 20% peer group moderation - Assesses all course Learning Outcomes
Feedback Formative: Feedback is provided throughout the course.

Summative: Feedback will be provided on assessments within agreed deadlines.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Identify changes in management accounting practice theoretically within the context of technological, organisational, and social and economic change.
  2. Appreciate the strategic relevance of controls by problematising the role of MACS in various sectors, industries, and cases.
  3. Understand the defining characteristics of the strategy discourse and how it can inform the practice of MACS.
  4. Gain agility in drawing disparate theoretical perspectives together to form a view of the practice of MACS.
  5. Appreciate the impact of management accounting on society.
Reading List
Johnson, Scholes and Whittington (2012). Fundamentals of Strategy, 2nd Edition, FT/Prentice Hall
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Practice: Applied Knowledge, Skills and Understanding

After completing this course, students should be able to:

Work with a variety of organisations, their stakeholders, and the communities they serve - learning from
them, and aiding them to achieve responsible, sustainable and enterprising solutions to complex problems.

Communication, ICT, and Numeracy Skills

After completing this course, students should be able to:

Convey meaning and message through a wide range of communication tools, including digital technology
and social media; to understand how to use these tools to communicate in ways that sustain positive and
responsible relationships.

Cognitive Skills

After completing this course, students should be able to:

Be self-motivated; curious; show initiative; set, achieve and surpass goals; as well as demonstrating
adaptability, capable of handling complexity and ambiguity, with a willingness to learn; as well as being able to
demonstrate the use digital and other tools to carry out tasks effectively, productively, and with attention to

Knowledge and Understanding

After completing this course, students should be able to:

Demonstrate a thorough knowledge and understanding of contemporary organisational disciplines;
comprehend the role of business within the contemporary world; and critically evaluate and synthesise primary
and secondary research and sources of evidence in order to make, and present, well informed and transparent
organisation-related decisions, which have a positive global impact.

Identify, define and analyse theoretical and applied business and management problems, and develop
approaches, informed by an understanding of appropriate quantitative and/or qualitative techniques, to explore
and solve them responsibly.
KeywordsManagement Accounting,Control Systems,Strategy,Organisation
Course organiserDr Matteo Ronzani
Course secretaryMiss Tamara Turford
Tel: (0131 6)50 8074
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