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Performance Management and Controlling - (B-F)-M

Course code
Course type
MSc Course
Weekly Hours
HS 2023
Prof. Dr. Utz Schäffer
Please note that exchange students obtain a higher number of credits in the BSc-program at WHU than listed here. For further information please contact directly the International Relations Office.

The course Performance Management and Controlling takes the perspective of the Chief Financial Officer of a company and intends to give you a comprehensive perspective of how to design, implement and use management control systems (MCS). It thus provides you with essential knowledge for any career as a controller, consultant or general manager.

The first objective of the course is to refresh and extend your knowledge of the most important management control systems (e.g., ABC, Target Costing, Benchmarking, Reporting, Forecasting and Planning, Early Warning Systems, etc.). Based on this, we will develop a profound understanding of how MCS can be used, implemented and diffused successfully, in particular how they can be put in place in order to facilitate learning processes in an organization. Finally, we will talk about the roles of controllers and discuss the impact of digitalization on management accounting and control. Veryinteractive lectureswill be complemented withcase discussionsandguest lecturesby practitioners.

Section I: A contingency perspective on MCS

  • Activity-based costing
  • Target costing

Section II: Learning versus influencing

  • Introducing different MCS principles
  • Example: Benchmarking process

Section III: Reporting and planning

  • Design and implications of reporting and control systems
  • Example: Balanced Scorecard

Section IV: Early warning systems

  • Avoid surprises: Dealing with volatility and uncertainty
  • Example: Scenario analysis

Section V: Use, implementation and diffusion of MCS

  • How are MCS used in practice?
  • Why do MCS implementation projects fail - and how to succeed? (Example: Beyond budgeting)

Section VI: The role of controllers

  • Tasks and roles of controllers
  • Digital transformation
Date Time
Thursday, 02.11.2023 08:00 - 11:15
Wednesday, 08.11.2023 08:00 - 11:15
Tuesday, 14.11.2023 08:00 - 11:15
Thursday, 16.11.2023 08:00 - 11:15
Thursday, 23.11.2023 08:00 - 11:15
Thursday, 30.11.2023 08:00 - 11:15
Wednesday, 06.12.2023 08:00 - 11:15
Thursday, 07.12.2023 08:00 - 11:15
Contingency and Learning Theory, Behavioral approaches, Institutional Theory, Diffusion Theory, Upper Echelon Theory
Basic literature: Hartmann, F. et al. (2021). Management Control Systems, 2nd ed., London: McGraw-Hill.Bhimani, A. et al. (2023). Management and Cost Accounting, 8th ed., Harlow: Pearson.Weber, J./Schäffer, U. (2022). Einführung in das Controlling, 17th ed., Stuttgart: Schäffer-Poeschel.Additional literature:will be announced and made available in class.
interactive lecture, assignments and case studies, in-class discussion
Case Studies and Assignments (30%), Final Written Exam (70%)

For Module Retakes: 100% Oral Examination

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