Management Control Association

Researching Management Accounting and Control:

Reflections on its impact and implications for the future


Plenary Speakers
• Professor John Burns (University of Exeter)
• Professor Cristiano Busco (University of Roehampton)
• Professor Wim Van der Stede (London School of Economics)

The Accounting Department of the Faculty of Economics and Business in the University of Groningen and the
Management Control Association are pleased to announce a conference on Researching Management Accounting
and Control to be held in Groningen, the Netherlands on 8-9 June 2017. This conference will mark the retirement of Professor Bob Scapens who has held an appointment in Groningen for the past 20 years.


Papers on all aspects of management accounting and control research will be welcome. A particular feature of the conference, however, is that it will provide participants with an opportunity to reflect on the potential impact and implications of their research. There will be plenary sessions which will discuss the impact of specific aspects of management accounting and control research, but most of the conference will comprise presentations of current research projects, during which the presenters will be encouraged to comment on the potential impact of their research. Some of the sessions will be specifically reserved for presentations by PhD students. The conference will finish with a round table discussion of the implications for management accounting and control research of the increasing emphasis on the impact of research.

These days we are increasingly familiar with research evaluations and debates about journal rankings and impact factors. However, impact measured in terms of citations in academic journals is not the only way in which the ‘impact’ of research can be assessed. For example, in the recent research assessment in the UK (held under the title “Research Excellence Framework”), each submission had to include a number of impact case studies which “outline changes and benefits [of the research] to the UK economy, society, culture, public policy and services, health, the environment and quality of life and impacts in these sectors beyond the UK.” [] Furthermore, in the Netherlands, as well as a number of other countries, the Science in Transition Movement is arguing that “Science has become a self-referential system where quality is measured mostly in bibliographic parameters and where social relevance is undervalued.” [] In the context of management accounting and control research there could be many different forms of impact. As well as developing concepts, ideas, tools and processes for practitioners, research can study the economic, environmental, social and political consequences of current and proposed practices, and also provide policy advice to government, regulators, professional organisations and other bodies. The requirement to submit impact case studies in the recent research assessment in the UK reflects the increasing concern of governments (not only in the UK, but also in other countries in Europe and elsewhere) to ensure that the taxpayers’ money invested in universities provides benefits to society as a whole, and does not just provide funds to allow researchers to write papers for other researchers. The current interest in the valorisation of research in the Netherlands seems to have a similar agenda.

Call for Papers
Papers are invited on any aspect of management accounting or management control in public, private or third sector organizations.

Papers need not focus on, or discuss in detail, the broader relevance of the research, but in the presentation the author(s) will be expected to reflect on the impact of the research.

There will be a nominated discussant for each paper who will comment on both the paper’s substantive topic and its potential impact. It is expected that everyone attending the conference will be willing to act as a discussant. As some of the sessions will be specifically reserved for presentations by PhD students, if you are a PhD student you should indicate this when submitting your extended abstract.

Submission and dates
• Extended abstracts should be submitted by 15th December 2016
• Authors with successful submissions will be notified by 16th January 2017
• Full papers should be submitted by 20th April 2017.

The fee for the conference will be 100 Euro.  Instructions on how to pay and register will be posted early in 2017.

All attendees will be added to the MCA mailing list, unless you request otherwise.  There is no membership fee but we have a suggested, optional annual donation of £10 towards our work – see the ‘How to Join’ tab for further information.

The extended abstracts should be no more than 800 words, single spaced. The title of the paper should be at the top, with keywords, the author(s) name, affiliation, and contact details at the end.

Extended abstracts (and eventually the full papers) should be sent to the conference organisers via the MCA website:, following the links to ‘Groningen Conference 2017’ and then ‘paper submission’.

The abstract file name should follow the format: abstract.leadauthorssurname.doc (or pdf) and your full paper the format: fullpaper.leadauthorssurname.doc (or pdf).

Scientific committee
Professors Paula van Veen-Dirks, Henk ter Bogt and Bob Scapens