GRA 8199 Management Accounting (2023/2024)

GRA 8199 Management Accounting (2023/2024)

Course code: 
GRA 8199
Accounting and Operations Management
Course coordinator: 
Hanno Roberts
Course name in Norwegian: 
Management Accounting (2023/2024)
Product category: 
EMBA Business Administration - Core Courses
2023 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 out from the instruments and metrics in the management accounting toolbox, the link with a firm’s competitive strategy, organization design, and organisational behavior will be exemplified in case studies, illustrative videos and lectures.  

The course is designed as a continuous flow of interaction and exchange that is not limited to the days of face-to-face classroom encounters. The course starts online in advance of the classroom sessions and will terminate online after the classroom sessions. Participants can expect an intensive exchange of information and frequent online communication, before, during and after the course. The teacher is an active participant in these learning dialogues and will not limit himself to a classroom lecturing presence. 

In case the pandemic situation requires, the course will be taught online. In that situation, the course is structured as a blend of lecture videos (in which content is provided) and Zoom-based, interactive sessions (in which content is discussed). The agenda for the interactive sessions is set via a series of Q&A lists, created and submitted by the participants in advance on the basis of the lecture videos. There will not be Zoom-based lectures.


The 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. 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 as enriched computational exercises. Cases will change and be updated for every single edition of the course. There is a course outline that acts as the “manual”, specifying in detail what is expected in terms of casework, hand-in procedures, presentation specifics, and the various criteria for selection of presenting group as well as the grading itself.

Attendance to all sessions in the course is compulsory. If you have to miss part(s) of the course you must ask in advance for leave of absence. More than 25% absence in a course will require retaking the entire course. It's 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 materials.

Participation (individual) 50% and group casework 50%. There is no final examination or final paper. An anonymized example from the preceding EMBA cohort of both casework and case feedback & grading will be provided as benchmark for expected quality.

Casework gets graded on the basis of the submitted content. It is a correct assumption to interpret the casework as cues & triggers for subsequent classroom discussion. The latter is assessed on the basis of participation. The assessment criteria for both casework and participation are fully specified in the course outline (“manual”).
This is a course with continuous assessment (several exam components) and one final exam code. Each exam 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 an oral hearing as a verification/control of written assignments.

Specific information regarding the points system and the 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.

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

In all BI Executive courses and programmes, there is a mutual requirement  
for the student and the course responsible regarding the involvement of the student's experience in the planning and implementation of courses, modules and programmes. 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
No specified computer-based tools are required.
Additional information

The course uses a series of computer-based tools such as the e-learning platform It’s Learning as “electronic bookshelf”, and existing collaboration and communication tools for student-to-student interaction at case group and at classroom levels. These communication tools are selected by the students and will necessarily change with the speedy evolution of portable ICT devices and applications; hence, being “IT savvy” helps. Conversely, it is not necessary to be fully Excel savvy; a basic understanding of Excel will do.
All readings, slides (also of guest speakers), cases and other material will only be provided as downloadable PDF-files and not as hard copy. 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: 
Class participation
Class participation, counting 50% of the final grade.
Exam code: 
GRA 81991
Grading scale: 
Point scale leading to ECTS letter grade
All components must, as a main rule, be retaken during next scheduled course
Exam category: 
Form of assessment: 
Presentation and discussion
Group (3 - 6)
Presentation and discussion (oral and written), counting 50% of the final grade.
Exam code: 
GRA 81991
Grading scale: 
Point scale leading to ECTS letter grade
All components must, as a main rule, be retaken during next scheduled course
Type of Assessment: 
Continuous assessment
Grading scale: 
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.