Doctoral studies in Management Accounting and Control at WHU

Join the #1 doctoral program in management accounting in Europe


What is the Institute of Management Accounting and Control?

The Institute of Management Accounting and Control (IMC) at WHU is a leading think tank for Controlling and Strategy Execution. Under the joint directorship of Professor Marko Reimer, Professor Utz Schäffer, and Professor Jürgen Weber, the Institute engages in the three fields of research, business engagement and teaching. The underlying duality of scholarly and practice impact is part of our vocation.

About the doctoral program

Our doctoral program aims to enable candidates to write an excellent doctoral thesis in management accounting and control and helps them engage in international scholarly discussions. Our research topics focus on the digital transformation of the finance function as well as the roles of controllers and the CFO. Potential dissertation projects could focus on the following research topics:

  • What are the effects of real-time data, business analytics, and portable devices on the management control function in companies?
  • How do performance measurement and incentives in companies change in response to digital business models and increased data availability?
  • How will digitalization affect transparency and what are the consequences for an efficient mix of management control systems?

The topic is chosen in consultation with the dissertation advisor and we are of course open to your own ideas.

Our teams in the areas of research, practice, and teaching

Besides working on their dissertation, doctoral students take over tasks in one of the teams at the IMC: 

The editorial team is responsible for the acquisition of manuscripts and the planning of topics for the „Controlling & Management Review“, the most frequently cited professional journal on controlling and management in Germany and the German-speaking area. The target audience is executives, managers in the finance function, and controllers in organizations of any size.

The Center for Controlling and Management (CCM) at the Institute of Management Accounting and Control (IMC) of WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management was established in the year 2000 and brings together the heads of group controlling from large companies in Germany to discuss current topics and challenges in controlling. The CCM is a leading think tank in the area of controlling with the goal of providing the professional controlling community with findings and recommendations that can be applied in their everyday work and beyond. To do so, the CCM regularly publishes novel findings stemming from empirical and practical research.

The WHU Controller Panel was launched in 2007 as a joint initiative of the IMC with the International Controller Association (ICV) to derive benchmarks and identify best practices in the field of controlling. Regular surveys on specific longitudinal research topics enable us to make statements on the development of controlling in Germany and German-speaking countries. The studies examine current controlling trends in detail.  

The teaching team takes over administrative tasks for the lectures of the IMC, the communication with lecturers, students, and employees of the administration. Furthermore, the team supports Professor Schäffer, Professor Reimer and Professor Weber in revising the textbook.

Our guiding principle on your way to your doctorate

It is our guiding principle that the advisors give doctoral students regular feedback on their way to the doctorate about their dissertation project. In addition to participating in international conferences and doctoral workshops, we foster the exchange of ideas through regular presentations and discussions in our research group including internal and external experts. This effort is reflected in the quality of our doctoral program, as distinguished by the Brigham Young University Accounting Research Ranking, where the doctoral program of the IMC was ranked number 1 in Europe and number 7 worldwide in management accounting (see News). Furthermore, an indication for the high quality of our program is the large number of IMC alumni who have continued their career in academia at prestigious universities.

Are you looking for a doctoral program in controlling, which can be a door opener for interesting jobs and a successful (international) career? Are you enthusiastic, highly motivated, and have excellent analytical skills? Do you have a good understanding of economics and a very good master-level university degree?

Then apply via e-mail for one of our open positions as Research Assistant at the IMC.


"As well as being exposed to challenging research topics at the IMC, I had the unique opportunity to work in an exciting environment where everybody has challenged and supported everyone in order to achieve a maximum output for his/her research topic. Today, I particularly benefit from this experience when I have complex issues to solve."

"At the IMC, I engaged in a productive dialogue with junior and senior scholars which greatly fostered my interest in solving exciting research questions related to management accounting. The international reputation of the IMC and its resources enabled me to quickly build up a global research network und gave me the opportunity to work with experts in my fields of interest."

My years as a doctoral student were formative years which I wouldn't want to miss. I remember being involved in many different activities and projects. This stimulated my entrepreneurial thinking and also inspired my later start-up activities.

"At the IMC, I have the opportunity to work on academic issues while also getting a deep understanding of topics relevant to practice. This unique combination supports me to gain profound knowledge in the field of controlling. Furthermore, the young, dynamic and supportive environment does not only contribute to my dissertation progress, but also to my personal development and work pleasure."

"Conducting research at the IMC also means continuously receiving valuable feedback from the supervisors and the research group on your own research topic. That minimizes the risk of getting off track – especially at the very beginning when you are not completely familiar with the relevant literature. This not only saves time but also sets you up to make steady progress."



Carsten Lucaß

Office Manager
Controlling & HR, Alumni Relations


Interested in pursuing a doctoral degree at the IMC? Apply now: