Lecture | Information Systems

Managerial Decision Making and Control


The course provides insights into the 'state of the art' in the field of management accounting. The course aims to contribute to the students’ understanding of the relationships between management accounting information, the organisational context, and managerial decision making and control.

The objective is to be able to understand the various ways in which management accounting and control systems can support or undermine decision making and control within organisations. These decisions may relate to various topics like how to improve manufacturing efficiency and how to make decisions on the use and renewal of technology. The focus of the control part will be on the measurement and evaluation of the performances of organisational entities and their managers. Here both behavioural and technical aspects related to performance management will be taken into account.

The course also includes the issue of value creation through innovation and how management accounting and control concepts can be used in a dynamic and innovative organisational setting. Furthermore, the course will include change management issues concerning control systems. Students will develop both theoretical and practical knowledge, because the course includes both theoretical papers and practical case assignments.

The main topics to be dealt with are:
• the context of accounting systems: how do they construct them and use them (sometimes to their own advantage)
• costing systems and change in organisations theory and analysis: Activity Based Costing, traditional methods of cost allocation, how the choice of these costing methods have developed and influenced decision making in organisations
• financial control systems: use of budgets and incentive systems in a dynamic environment: budgeting, beyond budgeting, budget participation
• performance management: performance measurement and evaluation, Balanced Scorecard (BSC), financial performance indicators (Return on Investment and Residual Income), implementation of new performance evaluation systems
• control and ethics: the role of auditors and the ethical behavior of board of directors and managers.

Learning outcomes

Students are able to: (1) identify and describe relevant management accounting and control concepts and to relate these concepts to technology and operations management; (2) interpret the content of the literature on various management accounting and control concepts and to apply this to situations in various contextual settings; (3) summarise, analyse and critically evaluate research papers in the field of management accounting and/or technology and operations management; (4) present and critically evaluate a scientific article; and (5) understand the technical, the social, and the ethical aspects related to the design and use of management accounting and control systems.

Number of credit hours per week 3
Course eligibility Optional
Presence of students On-campus