Accounting, Organisations and Institutions
This information is for the 2021/22 session.
Professor Michael Power KSW 3.12 (MT), Dr Andrea Mennicken KSW 3.09 (LT), Dr Alexa Scherf OLD 3.12 (LT)
This course is compulsory on the MSc in Accounting, Organisations and Institutions. This course is not available as an outside option.
This course is not available to other students except in special circumstances and with the written permission of the Course Director.
There are no specific accounting pre-requisites. This course does not require a background in accounting and both the programme and this course are open to accounting specialists and non-specialists alike. Pre-sessional training in the form of various intensive sessions prior to the start of term will be offered for those who need a brief 'technical' preparation for the Progamme.
The objective of the course is to provide students with an advanced, social science- based and critical understanding of the changing role and position of accounting practices in organisations, both public and private, and in societies more generally. Students will be exposed to advanced scholarship and case materials which show how accounting practices are more than a collection of routine self-evident techniques but are shaped by their institutional contexts, have behavioural consequences and can represent different values. We will focus on how the fundamental assumptions of internal and external accounting practices are institutional in nature and are shaped by social and political aspirations in different jurisdictions. The role of accountants and other agents involved in the production and consumption of accounting numbers will also be addressed.
The course will equip students to understand the inter-relations between technical, organisational and institutional issues. While some technical accounting knowledge may be helpful, it is not essential and each lecture will provide the necessary technical foundations.
Indicative topics include:
Foundations: Reporting, Calculation and Transparency; Quantification and Measurement; Accounting and the Notion of "Entity"; Audit and Assurance: The Audit Society; Organisational Boundaries, Structure and Control; Accountability, Incentives and Performance; Accounting for Sustainability; Organisational Failure; Accounting Standardisation and Harmonization; the Political Economy of Financial Reporting and Standard Setting; Accounting and Development; the Roles of Accounting in Global Financial Governance; Political, Institutional and Economic Influences in Changing National and International Financial Reporting Frameworks; Consequences of International Accounting Harmonization for Financial Statement Users, Business Entities and Wider Local and Global Stakeholders.
Teaching will be delivered in the form of two weekly 90-minute sessions over 11 weeks across both Michaelmas and Lent Terms. Each session contains a variety of technical content, practical exercises, and case analyses. This year, some or all of this teaching may be delivered using virtual classes as an alternative to face-to-face teaching.
This course has a reading and feedback week in Week 6 of both MT and LT so there is 30 hours of teaching per term.
Students will be required to produce two pieces of written work in MT and one group presentation in LT. These formative assignments may take the form of either an essay, or the analysis of a case, and may also include in-class presentation and team-based work. This work will be assessed, but the grades will not count towards the overall course assessment.
Chapman, Cooper & Miller (eds.), Accounting, Organizations and Institutions (Oxford, 2009); Hopwood & Miller (eds.), Accounting as Social and Institutional Practice (Cambridge, 1994); Power, The Audit Society (Oxford, 1999); Botzem, The Politics of Accounting Regulation (Edward Elgar, 2012); Ramanna, Political Standards: Corporate Interest, Ideology and Leadership in the Shaping of Accounting Rules for the Market Economy (University of Chicago Press, 2015); Nobes & Parker, Comparative International Accounting (Pearson, 2020); Weetman & Tsalavoutas (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Accounting in Emerging Economies (Routledge, 2020).
Exam (50%, duration: 2 hours) in the summer exam period.
Essay (50%, 6000 words) in the ST.
Course selection videos
Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.
Student performance results
(2017/18 - 2019/20 combined)
|Classification||% of students|
Important information in response to COVID-19
Please note that during 2021/22 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the differing needs of students in attendance on campus and those who might be studying online. For example, this may involve changes to the mode of teaching delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.
Total students 2020/21: 58
Average class size 2020/21: 59
Controlled access 2020/21: No
Value: One Unit
Personal development skills
- Team working
- Problem solving
- Application of information skills
- Commercial awareness