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Contemporary Challenges in Management Control

  • Teacher(s):   A.Mikes   G.Camponovo  
  • Course given in: English
  • ECTS Credits: 3 credits
  • Schedule: Spring Semester 2018-2019, 2.0h. course (weekly average)
  •  sessions
  • site web du cours course website
  • Related programmes:
    Bachelor (BSc) in Economic Sciences

    Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Management



This course provides students with an understanding of the importance of management control and management control systems in the management of organizations and society. At the end of this course students should be able to critically evaluate the nature, effectiveness and consequences of implemented control systems. Moreover, they should be able to make own recommendations how to improve the design of such systems.


In this course, students will learn about the power of management control systems - and the power they accord to managers who use them, by reflecting on the role of control systems in organizational life, particularly in decision making, strategizing and evaluating the performance of individuals and subunits.

Starting with some technical challenges, in the first module we are going to explore costing systems.

  • An introductory overview of different costing systems. Joint costs
  • Process costing
  • Time-Based ABC
  • Customer cost allocation and profitability analysis

In the remainder of the course, we shall move on to explore wider challenges in performance management and control. Apart from the espoused management-enabling roles of control systems, we are going to reflect on "the dark side" - on the unanticipated, undesirable consequences, and on the organizational realities of performance management and control.

In order to bring this topic to life, we read and discuss case studies on particular control challenges and discuss the actual use, consequences and limitations of organizational control.

This organizational perspective of management control systems will complement the previous, more technical perspective on some advanced topics in cost accounting. This will allow students to understand how to design systems to deal with some particular issues, in addition to understand what consequences these design choices will have on / in the organization.


The technical aspects can draw upon selected chapters of the following textbooks and other readings:

- Horngren C., Datar S., Rajan M. (2012), Cost Accounting - A managerial emphasis, Pearson, 14e

- Atkinson A., Kaplan R., Matsumura E., Young S., Management Accounting: Information for Decision-Making and Strategy Execution, Pearson, 6e

The second module is a more reading-intensive, reflective course, which introduces students to “soft skills” with reference to field studies and research articles.


This course places emphasis on both the technical, and on the "real-life" aspects of management controls.


First attempt

Written 2 hours
Not allowed
Allowed with restrictions

Final exam: 100%.

[ Calculatrice scientifique selon directive HEC ]


Written 2 hours
Not allowed
Allowed with restrictions

Final exam: 100%

[ Calculatrice scientifique selon directive HEC ]

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