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Performance Measurement and Control Systems (19CBA35838)

General information






S semester

ECTS Credits:


Teaching Staff:

Group Teacher Department Language
Josep Bisbe Viñas Economía, Finanzas y Contabilidad ENG


The course is meant to be of interest to future CFOs as well as to any other future managers operating in organizations where decentralization of decision rights, accountability and incentives are an issue. It is expected that participants have some previous knowledge about strategic management, accounting and organization theory. Students will be invited to critically apply and integrate their knowledge from several functional areas, including strategy, finance, acccounting and HR. Even if the course entails some work with financial metrics in reporting settings, its approach of the course is primarily strategic and organizational.

Course Learning Objectives

Performance measurement and control systems are a major way by which managers in decentralized firms assure that business goals are effectively implemented. In addition to performance measurement systems, elements of formal management control systems include resource allocation, budgeting, transfer pricing, and evaluation and rewards. This course brings together the skills of strategic analysis,organizational design and behavior, and management accounting, as well as functional skills in order to provide an overview of the concepts, frameworks and tools used by managers to measure, plan and monitor the firm's performance.
The course is appropriate not only for those who expect to be directly in charge of the design of performance measurement and management control systems, but also for any prospective manager who will be responsible for strategy implementation and, as a result, will have to manage others (or be managed) within a certain performance measurement and control system.

Students taking this course will learn to

- assess the relationship between an organization's strategy and its performance measurement and control systems.

- be aware of the existence of different sets of control systems, ponder the effects of the different alternatives, and assess the compatibility between these sets.

- determine the most appropriate control structure given its strategy and organization design.

- identify key success factors for a company's business, and to translate these into objectives and goals that can be measured and reported to managers.

- evaluate the management control process, i.e. the way that managers work together to achieve corporate objectives.

- disaggregate the management control process into its key elements (e.g. for financial results control systems, programming, budgeting, measurement and operations, and reporting and evaluation). Critique these elements, and redesign them, when necessary, so that they are more effective and efficient in helping an organization achieve its strategy.

- examine the choice of financial and non-financial performance measures for evaluating business atrategies and business units success


1. Overview: The nature and purposes of Management Control Systems. Performance measurement and management control

2. Management Control Systems based on financial results: Financial responsibility centers and accounting-based financial performance targets. Responsibility centers and transfer pricing

3. Management Control Systems based on financial results: Value-based approaches

4. Activity-based management approaches for Management Control Systems

5. Budgets as key planning and control instruments

6. The analysis and evaluation of financial performance reports. Budgeting and beyond budgeting

7. Management control systems beyond financial results. Strategic Performance Measurement Systems: Design and Use


The course is based on lectures and discussion of case studies. It is expected that students thoroughly prepare and analyze the pre-assigned readings and cases prior to class.

Assessment criteria

Written case analyses (Group) 40%
Exam (individual) 50%
Class participation 10%

In case a retake exam is needed, the final course grade will be 100% determined by the retake exam mark.


- ANTHONY, R.N., GOVINDARAJAN, V., HARTMANN, F., KRAUS. K. ; NILSSON, G. (2014). Management Control Systems. McGrawHill.
- ATKINSON, A.A., KAPLAN, R.S.; MATSUMURA, E.M. , YOUNG, S.M (2012). Management Accounting: Information for Decision Making and Strategy Execution. Pearson.
- MERCHANT. K.A.; VAN DER STEDE, W.A. (2017). Management Control Systems: Performance Measurement, Evaluation and Incentives (4th ed.) Pearson.
- SIMONS, R. (2013). Performance Measurement & Control Systems for Implementing Strategy. Prentice-Hall.
- ZIMMERMAN, J. (2017). Accounting for decision making and control. McGraw-Hill

Timetable and sections

Group Teacher Department
Josep Bisbe Viñas Economía, Finanzas y Contabilidad