Management Control

This course is offered in Dutch. Some of the descriptions may therefore only be available in Dutch.

Course Objective

This course provides in-depth knowledge that relates to how firms create
the conditions to achieve predetermined or desirable outcomes . It
allows students by means of a textbook, cases and
academic papers to consider a wide range of control mechanisms that can
be used to achieve this purpose of achieving organizational objectives,
ranging from formal information-based mechanisms to more informal
personnel and social control mechanisms (Bridging theory and practice -
Students share their thoughts on application and use of controls by
presenting cases and paper reviews and lead classroom discussions
(Bridging theory and knowledge - application; Professional social
skills), balancing pros and cons - also from an ethical
point of view, to express their suggestions on the application of
controls in practice (Broadening your horizon - responsibility).

After following this course, you will be familiar with:

- Acquiring a thorough understanding of the components of MCS,
their effects on human behavior, their interrelationships and design
- Active learning using the case method, in which the analysis of
actual events of companies stimulates learning, and identification and
application of relevant knowledge to complex problems.
- Developing skills to critically evaluate how empirical
(accounting) research and its outcomes contribute to a theoretical
understanding of the field and to implications for practice.
- Further development of competencies in presenting and discussing
business analyses and academic papers.

Course Content

The contents of this course can broadly be divided into two sections.
The first section deals with the control function of management and
management control system design. This section includes topics such as
the cause of control problems and the need for management control
systems (MCS) in organizations, management control alternatives and
their effects on behavior, and the determinants of MCS design. This part
of the course will build mainly on the book by Merchant and van der
Stede as referred to below, and case presentations and discussions. The
second section of the course uses these insights from part I to study
MCS in different organizational forms: (1) performance measurement and
incentive compensation in profit seeking firms, (2) management control
in hospitals and (3) management control in interfirm relationships. In
analyzing the control function in these three different forms of
organization, contemporary empirical accounting and management research
is examined, by critically studying, presenting and reporting on
articles from the accounting literature. This section therefore also
builds on both theory insight from part I and skills in research methods
acquired earlier during the economics and business administration

Teaching Methods

Class in a group of ca. 30 students.

Method of Assessment

Case reports (2 * 7.5% of final grade)
Presentation (case or paper review – 7.5% of final grade)
Paper review (7.5% of final grade)
Written exam (70% of final grade)
Optional assignment yielding a maximum of 1 full point on top of final


- Merchant, K.A. & Van der Stede, W.A. (2017). Management Control
Systems: Performance Measurement, Evaluation and Incentives, Harlow,
United Kingdom: Prentice Hall, 4th Edition.
- Selected articles for review, presentation and discussion (to be
announced in the course manual).

Additional Information

In enrolling for the course, please take note of the fact that
presentation, cases and paper reviews are subject to team work (of max 3
students, to be formed during the first lecture). This means that once
starting this course, you must finish it!

Recommended background knowledge

The course assumes basic knowledge of common economic theories (e.g.,
transaction cost economics, agency theory) and accounting knowledge
(e.g., cost behavior, investment decisions).

General Information

Course Code E_PTACC_MC
Credits 6 EC
Period P4
Course Level 400
Language of Tuition Dutch
Faculty School of Business and Economics
Course Coordinator dr. P.C.M. Claes
Examiner prof. dr. H.C. Dekker
Teaching Staff dr. P.C.M. Claes
prof. dr. H.C. Dekker

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Last-minute registration is available for this course.

Teaching Methods Lecture
Target audiences

This course is also available as: