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NBS8233 : Managerial Decision Making and Control

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Muhammad Tahir
  • Owning School: Newcastle University Business School
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 10.0


* To provide a sound understanding of the expanding role of management accounting in the changing global environment.
* To deepen understanding of the use of management accounting techniques in decision making.
* To explore the use of advanced cost-planning and control analysis in enhancing corporate competitive advantage.
* To broaden the understanding of current developments in management accounting practice with links to business models of corporate strategy.
* To explore current issues in contemporary management accounting research.

This module focuses on the advanced use of management accounting techniques for strategic and operational management purposes. It is suitable for postgraduate students who need an enhanced understanding of contemporary applications of accounting techniques in managing businesses in both public and private sectors.

Outline Of Syllabus

1 & 2 The focus is on the evolving roles of management accounting information in the changing competitive environment. A close and extensive examination is first on the use of relevant cost information to meet planning, decision making and control needs. Hence the types of cost are clarified with examples of relevant costs and revenues for decision-making.

3 & 4 The use of Activity-based Costing (ABC) information for decision making involves the analysis of pricing decisions and customer profitability.

5 & 6 One of the key issues in accounting systems is cost allocation. These two lectures introduce a general framework for analysing cost allocations in different organisational settings and discuss various methods used by various functional departments.

7 This lecture involves evaluation of various budgeting methods used in public and private sectors (i.e. incremental budgeting, line-item budgeting, PPBS, ZBB, Priority-based budgeting and ABB).

8 Further examination of the role of budgeting within the planning process in different sectors is undertaken. Also introduced is the latest development in budgeting (i.e. Activity-Based budgeting) and its practical implementation issues.

9 &10 TThe two lectures examine the difficulties that arise from using standard costing when some advanced costing measures (e.g. ABC) are implemented, and look at some suggestions for overcoming them.

11&12 An introduction to understand the link between the role of management accounting and quality management and to gain better understanding of various forms of quality measurement systems.

13 &14       The two lectures introduce control within the framework of organizational change and examine controllability principles & responsibility centres in decentralised organisations. Further evaluation of management control systems and issues arisen in performance appraisal and evaluation is introduced.

15 & 16 The planning and control issues of transfer pricing are examined within the context of divisionalised international companies.

17 & 18 Further examination on resolving transfer pricing conflicts.

19 Strategic management accounting consists of performance and cost management, both of which will be introduced in the next few sessions.

20 Strategic performance management looks at how to establish competitive strategies with the balanced scorecard approach and explains how the balanced scorecard links strategy formulation to financial outcomes.

21 & 22 The concept of strategic cost management is introduced with an aim to provide a competitive advantage.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture172:0034:00PIP (synchronous) lecture sessions (S1 - 8 sessions; S2 - 9 sessions)
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion148:0048:00To practice and complete formative and summative assessments
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading150:0050:00To study learning materials relating lecture topics and project
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching11:001:00Computer session
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching41:004:004 PIP (Synchronous) seminar sessions
Structured Guided LearningStructured non-synchronous discussion51:005:00Q & A sessions to support project and exam.
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study158:0058:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Synchronous/PIP lecture and small group sessions, together with non-synchronous practical sessions will allow students to develop in-depth understanding of the subject and facilitate deep learning.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1802A80N/A
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Report2M20Group project work 4000 words (typically group of 7)
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Prob solv exercises1MSeminar questions are provided
Prob solv exercises2MSeminar questions are provided
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The formal examination tests students’ knowledge and skills outcomes in management accounting, focusing on the preparation, interpretation and application of relevant information. Questions will either be essay-based or numerical-based, or a mixture of the two. They will be based on lectures, seminars sessions as well as the directed reading.
The group project tests students’ critical understanding of management accounting knowledge and application of management accounting techniques by use of an problem/case simulates of real-world complexity

In the case of an alternative semester 2 assessment (worth 80% of the overall module mark) being necessary due to circumstances, the module leader will in the first instance consult with the DPD as to the requirements of the professional accrediting body to discuss possible acceptable alternatives. In 2020/21 this alternative was a 24 hour take home exam delivered online, and it is envisioned that if circumstances do not allow a present-in-person timed exam at the end of semester 2, and the professional body agrees, than this may well be an example of the type of alternative assessment which could be put in place.

Reading Lists