GRA 8199 Management Accounting (2024/2025)

GRA 8199 Management Accounting (2024/2025)

Course code: 
GRA 8199
Accounting and Operations Management
Course coordinator: 
Hanno Roberts
Course name in Norwegian: 
Management Accounting (2024/2025)
Product category: 
EMBA Business Administration - Core Courses
2024 Spring
Active status: 
Level of study: 
Teaching language: 
Course type: 
One semester

Management Accounting (‘økonomistyring’) develops structures, conceptual templates, and computational approaches that allow for the quantitative interpretation and comparison of business decisions. The EMBA course does not purport to turn participants into mini-accountants but aims to link the management accounting outcomes to other functional areas and decisions, thus “connecting the dots” in terms of management.
This course interprets the management accounting toolkit against a background of flexible, decentralized organizations with a clear strategy and a service orientation. The accounting toolkit itself has evolved rapidly and now includes instruments and approaches that explicitly incorporate strategic, organizational, and market arguments while adopting multiple levels of analysis. This course addresses these new characteristics of management accounting. Notably, the course assumes a management accounting context of a knowledge-based firm, delivering its services and operating in a global environment, competing on the basis of its intangible resources and assets

Learning outcomes - Knowledge
  • To understand Management Accounting as a social science, using numerical approaches and quantitative tools to frame and direct behavior.
  • To understand how management accounting is embedded in a context of multidisciplinary decision-making and is not a neutral, stand-alone toolbox.
Learning outcomes - Skills
  • To have the ability to use management accounting concepts and tools.
  • To interpret decision-making situations as to which management accounting tool and approach to use and which are the various limitations and biases of the selected tools and approaches.
General Competence

To not fear or get confused by numbers but instead know what message is carried within them and be able to translate and communicate that message to other disciplinary fields.

Course content

Topics covered include:

  • cost concepts and product/service costing systems;
  • cost estimation, cost behaviour, and capacity costing;
  • cost allocation systems and activity-based costing;
  • customer profitability analysis and pricing models.
Teaching and learning activities

1 ECTS credit corresponds to a workload of 26-30 hours. 

Starting from the instruments and metrics in the management accounting toolbox, the link between a firm’s competitive strategy, organizational design, and organizational behavior will be exemplified in case studies, illustrative videos, and lectures.  

The course is designed as a continuous flow of interactions and exchanges that is not limited to face-to-face classroom encounters. The course starts online before the classroom sessions and terminates online after the classroom sessions. The course process revolves around collaborative learning and the ‘flipped classroom.’ Collaborative learning is based on the groups to which students are allocated to each set of modules. The ‘flipped classroom’ builds on collaborative group learning. It requires participants to study, discuss, and interpret materials beforehand within their groups, with classroom sessions acting as an interactive exchange of each group’s insights.

Both collaborative learning and ‘flipped classroom’ are inspired by Design Thinking, using visualization of arguments as guideline. Design Thinking directional guidance consists of the divergence-convergence diamond, the design cycle (Brown, 2009), and draws from the Design Thinking Toolbox (Lewrick et al., 2020). The aims are to incentivize conceptual and schematic Big Picture thinking (going beyond the numbers) by means of visualization, to assist the numerically skilled participants within the group in explaining quantitative concepts to the non-numerically skilled participants, thus further leveraging group dynamics by peer-to-peer learning, and to build a visual language of causalities that can benefit and spill over to the other core courses in Module 2 (Finance, Economics, Financial Accounting).

The method consists of creating three pre-set templates, one for each topical session and the corresponding case. Participants then move from one pre-set template to the next, with the option of accumulating and stacking their learning insights by transferring earlier visualizations to the next template, stepping up their sense-making of numerical information.

The teacher is an active participant on all templates to provide guidance and group tutoring whenever necessary or called upon. 

This course revolves around casework and the discussion of case-related topics. Every case is assigned a set of questions that need to be answered by the case group. Case answers are not goals in themselves but act as a vehicle for starting the case discussion towards linking management accounting outcomes to broader managerial insights and actions. The cases focus on the relationship between the outcome of an (accounting) computation and its wider, managerial interpretation and decision-making consequences. Cases are purposely selected to reflect the context of managerial interpretation and meaning and are not to be considered enriched computational exercises. Cases will change and be updated for every edition of the course. There is a course outline that acts as the “manual,” specifying in detail what is expected.

Reflective Journal 40% and group case work 60%. An anonymized example from the preceding EMBA cohort of both casework and case feedback and grading is provided as a benchmark for the expected quality.

Casework gets graded based on the submitted content. Casework acts as a cue for subsequent classroom discussions. Casework and Reflective Journal are submitted on a specific time and date with the site being temporarily locked on deadline to allow for assessment. Every case is handed in and receives feedback and a grade on the same day of hand-in before continuing to the next case. This assessment allows for the accumulation of learning within and across groups. Hence, all casework is always completed in advance of classroom sessions (‘flipped classroom’).

The Reflective Journal consists of the groups creating from scratch a submission that formulates the group’s overall insights and acts as each group’s visual Reflective Journal. The aim of the Reflective Journal is to zoom out of specific cases, tools, and concepts and place them within the participant’s personal management experience. It acts as a warm-up for the Personal Development Programme later in the EMBA trajectory. The specifics of what constitutes a Reflective Journal and how it can be drafted are provided in the course outline (the “manual” of the course). If the group’s Reflective Journal is particularly unrepresentative of an individual’s perspective, a participant has the choice to submit a separate, individual reflective journal. The course outline specifies the ‘how to’ of this option.

The assessment criteria for both casework and participation reflective journals are fully specified in the course outline (the “manual” of the course).

Each examination component will be graded using points on a scale 0 -100. The components will be weighted together according to the information in the course description in order to calculate the final letter grade for the course. Students who fail to participate in one/some/all exam components will get a lower grade or may fail the course. Candidates may be called in for oral hearing as verification/control of written assignments.

Specific information regarding the points system and mapping scale beyond the information given in the course description will be provided in class. This information may be relevant for requirements for term papers or other hand-ins, and/or where class participation can be one of several elements of the overall evaluation.

Attendance at all sessions in the course is compulsory. If you have to miss part(s) of the course, you must ask in advance for a leave of absence. A course absence of more than 25% would require retaking the entire course. It is the student’s own responsibility to obtain any information provided in class that is not included on the course homepage/ It'’s learning or other course material.

The course is a part of a full Executive MBA programme, and examinations in all courses must be passed to obtain a certificate.

In all BI Executive courses and programmes, there is a mutual requirement  for the student and the course responsible for the involvement of the student'’s experience in the planning and implementation of courses, modules, and programs. This means that the student has the right and duty to get involved with their own knowledge and practice relevance, through the active sharing of their relevant experience and knowledge.


Software tools

Several software tools are used. First, as a collaborative platform with a special attention towards its Whiteboarding function. Second, the use of GPT-UiO for general analytical purposes. Third, the use of two AI software tools: chatPDF for analyzing and summarizing the PDF-based course materials, and Paperpal Copilot for structuring and drafting the Reflective Journal.

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

All readings, slides (also of guest speakers), cases, and other materials will only be provided as downloadable PDF files and not as hard copies. It is explicitly allowed to use your laptop/tablet in the classroom.


Granted admission to the EMBA programme. Please consult our student regulations.


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

Exam category: 
Form of assessment: 
Submission PDF
Group (2 - 8)
4 Week(s)
Casework in groups, counting 60% of the final grade.
Exam code: 
GRA 81992
Grading scale: 
Examination when next scheduled course
Exam category: 
Form of assessment: 
Submission PDF
Group (2 - 8)
4 Week(s)
Reflective journal in groups, counting 40% of the final grade.
Exam code: 
GRA 81993
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: 
Student workload
24 Hour(s)
Prepare for teaching
20 Hour(s)
Student's own work with learning resources
36 Hour(s)
Self study, feedback activities/counselling and exam
Sum workload: 

A course of 1 ECTS credit corresponds to a workload of 26-30 hours. Therefore a course of 3 ECTS credit corresponds to a workload of at least 80 hours.