Core Module Information
Module title: Strategic Performance Management

SCQF level: 11:
SCQF credit value: 20.00
ECTS credit value: 10

Module code: ACC11125
Module leader: James Brown
School The Business School
Subject area group: Accountancy

There are no pre-requisites for this module to be added

Description of module content:

Strategic tools and strategic positioning analysis; management accounting for competitive advantage including innovations in management accounting performance evaluation such as economic value and environmental management accounting; performance measurement systems including the balanced scorecard; performance management and its alignment with performance measures; strategic costing; behavioural aspects of performance measurement systems; risk in the management accounting process.

Learning Outcomes for module:

Upon completion of this module you will be able to
LO1: Analyse an organisation’s strategic competitive environment to determine the factors that have significant influence on its competitive position.
LO2: Evaluate the usefulness of management accounting techniques to a company’s position and justify contingent decisions
LO3: Evaluate the usefulness of management accounting practices and systems in measuring strategic performance and informing strategic direction
LO4: Assess current developments in management accounting, including risk assessment, and evaluate the importance of these developments in terms of strategic planning, control and decision making
LO5: Evaluate the usefulness of management accounting practices and systems through application to real-life case studies

Full Details of Teaching and Assessment
2020/1, Trimester 2, FACE-TO-FACE,
Occurrence: 001
Primary mode of delivery: FACE-TO-FACE
Location of delivery: CRAIGLOCKHAR
Member of staff responsible for delivering module: James Brown
Module Organiser:

Learning, Teaching and Assessment (LTA) Approach:
The module uses a variety of teaching methods to achieve the learning outcomes. Formal lectures are used to introduce you to the relevant research and debate on management accounting practices and systems (LOs 1,2,3,4); and the link between theory and practice as demonstrated in cases studies and real life situations (LOs 1,5). Lectures and specific reading material for each topic will also direct you to further reading and web sources.

The module’s overriding aim, which is embedded throughout, is aligning theory to practice and using case studies to achieve this (LOs 1-5). The format of the module delivery is one week lecture, one week case study application in most cases. There is also time in the case study three hour slot to cover a review of certain academic journal articles that have been highlighted for discussion (LO4). Group discussions are a key part of the learning process as is the presentation of group findings on the case study discussion points (LO5). These fora are a vital part of the formative feedback process and, as they are held every two weeks, you have an excellent opportunity to gauge the development of your analytical and evaluative skills with regard to case studies before the examination. Indeed, there are six prescribed case study sessions to ensure that the skills you will leave this module with are fully embedded and not simply tested once in the final examination (LO1-5).

The teaching style and mix of activities will encourage you to develop transferable skills of group working, communication, research and critical analysis. Research skills are developed in preparing for tutorial discussions and completing the coursework. Scholarship skills are supported through applying the appropriate writing style, referencing and the synthesis of information from a variety of sources. However, the main skill that you will gain is one of contingency-based decision making: this is an ability to appreciate the application of theory to practice and to comprehend, for example, how certain management accounting techniques might work for a certain company in a certain situation yet how the same technique(s) would not work for a different company in a different situation.

Formative assessment is embedded in the module in the six sessions that are devoted to case study analysis. This demonstrates the key focus on ensuring that contingent decision making is added to your skill set. The formative assessment also ensures that you are prepared for the final examination. This takes the form of a three hour pre-seen open book case study. Each aspect is significant here: the case study will normally be between 4,000 and 6,000 words in an attempt to replicate a real scenario as much as possible; the examination is not intended to test your memory but your application skills and so the examination is open book; a three hour examination is appropriate for level but also ensures that all module content is covered in the final examination.

The module team undertake research and scholarly activity which is used in the delivery to ensure the module remains up-to-date and relevant, providing an enhanced learning experience for you. For example, one member of the teaching team is on the Examinations Board of two professional accounting organisations and can ensure that the syllabus is reflective of current developments and practice. Other members of the teaching team between them have a recent doctorate in the area of performance management and control which is key to the module’s content and have published articles in practitioner and academic journals in relevant areas.

The module specification ensures that there are no artificial barriers to learning or assessment. Special needs of individual candidates will be taken into account when planning learning experiences and selecting assessment instruments. The international aspects of Management Accounting and the use of international case studies ensure internationalisation is integrated into this module. Specifically, the adoption of management accounting techniques across different countries makes the areas of culture and history key parts of overall discussion, both in lectures and during the case study sessions, as research findings reflect that these are important areas that have to be considered around potential implementation.

Formative Assessment:
This has been discussed above and is undertaken by feedback on the case study group discussions that are held every second week. You have the opportunity to work on the case study before the session and to then discuss their responses in groups. There will be a session for approximately half an hour to forty five minutes where these discussions are brought
together by the facilitator/tutor and you will have a good opportunity to see how your own findings are reflected in – or are different to – those of the class overall. With this topic, they will ascertain that there is no “right” or “wrong” answer, only answers which do or do not apply theory to the practical scenario in a justified, supported and analytical manner. This is exactly the main
skill that the module team are hoping you will bring to a business environment.

Summative Assessment:
This has also been discussed above in the assessment section. The final three hour open book examination will test your ability to make contingent decisions based on a company’s strategic direction and measurement system. By being open book, the examination will both take pressure away from you in terms of having to memorise references, techniques etc and also
ensure that marks are not awarded for remembering techniques etc but for justification, analysis and evaluation in the alignment of theory and practice and in the suggestions made. Every area in the module will be examined and the case study, being between 4,000 and 6,000 words, will be of sufficient scope and scale to replicate “real life” as much as possible. Given previous experience with similar types of assessment, it’s unlikely that an adequate attempt can be made at answering the examination questions in less than three hours.

Student Activity (Notional Equivalent Study Hours (NESH))
Mode of activityLearning & Teaching ActivityNESH (Study Hours)
Face To Face Lecture 18
Face To Face Tutorial 18
Independent Learning Guided independent study 164
Total Study Hours200
Expected Total Study Hours for Module200

Type of Assessment Weighting % LOs covered Week due Length in Hours/Words
Centrally Time Tabled Examination 100 1-5 14/15 HOURS= 3, WORDS= 0
Component 1 subtotal: 100
Component 2 subtotal: 0
Module subtotal: 100

Indicative References and Reading List - URL:
Strategic Performance Management