GRA 6232 Management Control

GRA 6232 Management Control

Course code: 
GRA 6232
Accounting and Operations Management
Course coordinator: 
Hanno Roberts
Course name in Norwegian: 
Management Control
Product category: 
MSc in Business - Accounting and Business Control
2025 Spring
Active status: 
Level of study: 
Teaching language: 
Course type: 
One semester

The management accounting or controller role has recently undergone drastic changes. The former “bean counter” has made room for the internal business consultant, acting as a translator of financial information into meaningful business scenarios for managerial decision making at senior and/or divisional or business-unit level.
The context of accounting has become one of flexible, decentralized organizations with a strong strategic and service orientation. The accounting toolkit itself has experienced similar changes, and now includes tools and approaches that explicitly incorporate competitive strategy arguments while adopting multiple levels of analysis. The active use of technology for analytical and reporting purposes has equally increased in importance, and is embedded in the various topical elements of this course.
This course addresses the knowledge and skills as necessary to fulfil a Controller or CFO role in organizations. It is related to the courses Project and Relationship Management (E2) and Advanced Management Accounting (P2) of the CIMA professional qualification as Chartered Global Management Accounting™.

Learning outcomes - Knowledge

After completing the course, students should have knowledge about:

  1. Management control; including financial and non-financial performance measurement, performance report generation and integration with responsibility centres, budget control and its behavioral consequences, and alternatives to budgeting as a control mechanism.
  2. Performance measurement and management; financial and non-financial metrics, analysis of performance reports, and the relationship between performance and organization design, notably with respect to team-based structures.
  3. Theoretical perspectives on control: the instrumental and functional perspective, the behavioral perspective, and the organisational perspective.
Learning outcomes - Skills

After completing the course, students should be able to:

  • Make decisions using accounting and control information
  • Manage projects and processes (people skills)
  • Use artificial intelligence and visual collaboration platforms (digital skills)
  • Develop teamwork, time management, and group decision-making competences (Interpersonal skills)
  • Create and substantiate an analytic line-of-argument (argumentative skills)
General Competence

Reflective skills acquired are in the managerial awareness that numbers drive behaviour, and, vice versa, behaviour drives numbers. Furthermore, the integration of financial and non-financial information (e.g., on sustainability or CSR) requires professional integrity and an ethical attitude towards business consequences and computational outcomes.

Reflective skills are acquired are in the managerial awareness that numbers drive behaviour, and, vice versa, behaviour drives numbers. Furthermore, the integration of financial and non-financial information (e.g., on sustainability or CSR) requires professional integrity and an ethical attitude towards business consequences and computational outcomes.

Finally, in active preparation for entering work life in the digital era, students will be equipped with a collaborative, multidisciplinary mindset and digital skills to develop adaptive solutions for an increasingly volatile and uncertain business environment.

Course content

Topics covered include:

  • management control as a package of cultural, cybernetic, and administrative controls
  • organisation design as a management control vehicle
  • budgeting, forecasting, and 'beyond budgeting';
  • control and performance management of responsibility centres;
  • contemporary developments in management control (e.g., digitalisation, sustainability);
  • F&A software systems and visual analytics as platforms for the CFO/Controller.
Teaching and learning activities

The course is designed into three streams - Theory, Tools, and Tradecraft - and is grouped into 4 clusters of 3 sessions each. The clusters cover the link between strategy & stakeholders and control, the link between organization design and control, the design of performance measurement systems, and technology platforms as interfaces for management control. Two of the teaching hours in this course are dedicated to CSR, ethics, social and environmental issues.

Every cluster will cover all three streams of Theory, Tools, and Tradecraft. An individual session will be dedicated to either Theory, or Tools, or Tradecraft. The Theory sessions provide conceptual frameworks and perspectives on control. The Tool sessions cover the instrumental aspects and elements of management control. The Tradecraft sessions focus on immersion in the praxis of the CFO/Controller role, emphasizing the tacit knowledge required to navigate in a business partnering environment. Tradecraft sessions revolve around casework by students, CFO/Controller guest speakers from practice, and the development of course paper based insights on a self-selected topic within Management Control. The course paper acts also as a warm-up for the Master Thesis by developing the ability to think conceptually.

The course is based on Design Thinking and uses a “flipped classroom” model where students work with the materials in advance of class sessions, which are then used for discussion and interpretation.

It uses Miro as the learning platform throughout, emphasizing collaborative learning within case groups as well as for the course paper. The use of the Miro platform serves several purposes: (1) to promote conceptual thinking through the visualisation of causal relationships and the critical evaluation of these relationships, i.e., how the learning material is understood in a multidisciplinary way, (2) to introduce critical thinking through collaborative learning and peer-to-peer sense-making, i.e., educational value is created in collaborative visual processes, (3) to overcome barriers of narrow functional interpretation and domain language through visualisation, (4) to develop the insight that focused knowledge communities (i.e., teams) are the future format for the digital era, thus enhancing students’ employability and career progression.

All course elements will have a pre-defined basic template on Miro from which the student journey can be started for each session topic. All students will also have an individual board on Miro for their own individual learning purposes.

Student groups work on MIRO to analyse readings, prepare cases, and develop the course paper step by step. Students work in groups, a larger group for the case work and smaller groups for the course paper. The larger groups are subject to group composition requirements in terms of gender diversity, while the smaller groups have no group composition requirements.

Students will be required to obtain the two Miro badges “essential skills” and “diagramming & mapping” as part of the pre-course work to ensure they have the appropriate skills to work on the Miro visual collaboration platform.

Students will be provided with a protocol for working with the use of the AI tools on the Miro platform.

All student group work will follow a steady chronological learning pace with calendar deadlines.

Computer-based tools

To further enhance learning, students will have access to four sets of AI tools that are embedded in the course design and used iteratively: the generic GPT-UiO for initial comprehension, a PDF AI for analysing reading material, a research and academic writing AI for the course paper, and Miro’s own built-in AI for visually constructing and refining lines of argument. The AI toolkit is subject to change as technology advances.

If AI is used to analyse readings, proper referencing in the bibliography is required, similar to website visits. If used to develop the course paper or the case analysis, the sequence of prompts must be submitted in an Appendix.


As part of the course pre-work and in order to have the appropriate skills to work on the Miro visual collaboration platform, all students are required to obtain the Miro Essentials and Miro Diagramming and Mapping badges from Miro Academy, before being granted access to the pre-set learning journey on Miro. The two Miro badges are formally accepted by LinkedIn in the “Licenses & Certifications” category.

Software tools
Software defined under the section "Teaching and learning activities".
Additional information

This is a course with two exam components, both based on groupwork. 

The exam for this course has been changed starting academic year 2023/2024. The course now has two exam codes instead of one. It is not possible to retake the old version of the exam. For questions regarding previous results, please contact InfoHub.

It is the student’s own responsibility to obtain any information provided in class.


All courses in the Masters programme will assume that students have fulfilled the admission requirements for the programme. In addition, courses in second, third and/or fourth semester can have specific prerequisites and will assume that students have followed normal study progression. For double degree and exchange students, please note that equivalent courses are accepted.


Deviations in teaching and exams may occur if external conditions or unforeseen events call for this.

Exam category: 
Form of assessment: 
Submission other than PDF
Exam/hand-in semester: 
First Semester
1 Semester(s)
Cases (included in one submission)
Exam code: 
GRA 62322
Grading scale: 
Examination when next scheduled course
Exam category: 
Form of assessment: 
Submission PDF
Exam/hand-in semester: 
First Semester
Group (2 - 3)
1 Semester(s)
Term paper.
Group composition will be based on student self-selection.
Further specifics on the what and how of the term paper will be included in the course outline/syllabus.
Exam code: 
GRA 62323
Grading scale: 
Examination when next scheduled course
Type of Assessment: 
Ordinary examination
All exams must be passed to get a grade in this course.
Total weight: 
Sum workload: 

A course of 1 ECTS credit corresponds to a workload of 26-30 hours. Therefore a course of 6 ECTS credits corresponds to a workload of at least 160 hours.