Professor Robert Scapens

Professor of Management Accounting

Department of Accounting and Finance

robert-scapens-Cropped-110x146

Contact details

Department of Accounting and Finance
Birmingham Business School
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston
Birmingham
B15 2TT

About

Professor Robert W. Scapens is a part-time professor in the Accounting and Finance Department of the Birmingham Business School, where his primary role is to support the research activities of the members of the Department. He is also an Emeritus Professor at the Manchester Business School and a visiting professor of Management Accounting at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. He has received honorary doctorates from the University of Vaasa in Finland and Lund University in Sweden.

Together with Michael Bromwich, he was co-founder of Management Accounting Research and he is now the Editor-in-Chief. In his research, which is primarily in the area of management accounting, he uses both quantitative and qualitative research methods, and he has written extensively on research methodology and the methods of case research.

Qualifications

  • PhD, Manchester (1979)
  • MA (Econ), Manchester (1970)
  • Chartered Accountant (ACA 1968, FCA 1978)

Awards

  • Honorary Doctorate, University of Lund, Sweden (2009)
  • Honorary Doctorate, University of Vaasa, Finland (2006)
  • British Accounting Association: Distinguished Academic award (2004
  • Chartered Institute of Management Accountants: Commendation for contributions to the management accounting profession (1999)

Biography

After qualifying as a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and then working as an auditor senior with one of the firms which now comprise Ernst and Young, Professor Scapens changed his direction when he obtained a PhD Leake Teaching Fellowship at Manchester University in 1970, where he subsequently obtained his Masters Degree and PhD. Initially his research was in financial accounting, but since the early 1980s his research has primarily been in the field of management accounting, and he is now recognised as a leading international researcher in that field.

His early research in both financial and management accounting used quantitative techniques, but since the mid-1980s he has used primarily qualitative research methods. Currently, he teaches courses on qualitative research methods and methodology, and he has written both books and articles on the subject. He has also published extensively in both academic and practitioner journals. His recent research has focussed on processes of management accounting change, the role of the management accountant in modern organisations, and performance measurement in global organisations.

He is the Editor-in-Chief of Management Accounting Research, which he founded with Professor Michael Bromwich in 1990. As well as his continuing visiting position in the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, in recent years he has had visiting positions in the University of Dundee, the National University of Ireland, Galway, the University of Jyväskylä in Finland, the University of Siena in Italy, and he was the Swedbank Visiting Professor in the University of Lund in Sweden.

Teaching

Over the years Professor Scapens has taught a wide range of courses at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, particularly in management accounting and research methodology. More recently, he has been teaching various courses on case study and qualitative research methods for PhD students in accounting and other management fields in Birmingham, Manchester and a number of other universities in European countries.

Postgraduate supervision

Professor Scapens has successfully supervised 25 PhD students, as well as numerous Master’s students, and he is currently supervising 5 PhD students is various universities.

Research

The Changing Nature of Management Accounting and the Changing Role of the Management Accountant

This is a continuation of a CIMA funded project to improve our understanding of new management accounting innovations, fashions and fads, including the processes of evolution and diffusion. That project was undertaken with John Burns and Gudrun Baldvinsdottir (Gothenburg) and Hanne Nørreklit (Aarhus). Professor Scapens continuing part of the project is exploring the ways in which management accountants talk about their roles in organisations. It is based on my collection of tape recordings of interviews conducted in the 1980s, 1990s and the 2000s. He is using discourse analysis to study the ‘talk’ of contemporary management accountants and how this has changed over the past three decades.

Accounting for Lateral Relations

Much traditional management accounting has been concerned with providing information for hierarchical relations, but increasingly lateral relationships are becoming important both within and outside the boundaries of the firm. This project is looking at the theoretical underpinnings of accounting for lateral relations drawing on both old and new institutional economics, and the more recent work on trust. The research is being undertaken with Jeltje van der Meer-Kooistra (at the University of Groningen). Currently they are using our theoretical framework to study product development projects which involve multiple parties within and outside the boundaries of the firm.

Management Accounting Change

This has been the focus on Professor Scapens research over the past 20 years or more, and he is continuing to work in this area. The research draws on institutional theory to inform case studies which analyse the dynamics of accounting change. Much of his work has been concerned with large corporations, but he is currently also working on projects on small growing companies with colleagues at the University of Jyväskylä, in Finland, and on accounting and finance departments with Henk ter Bogt, from the University of Groningen, The Netherlands.

Designed to Happen: How management accountants can lead innovation through reinventing reporting

Through the design of management accounting techniques and reporting methods, management accountants have the potential to take a leadership role in fostering innovation and creativity within their organisation. They can encourage innovation and change to emerge from the discussions which takes place in the process of collecting, organising and communicating accounting data within and outside their organisations. Professor Scapens is undertaking this project with Paolo Quattrone and Cristiano Busco. It is funded by the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) and will develop a theoretical framework and case studies which will provide input to the redesign of CIMA's syllabus and courses to enhance the management accountants reporting design skills and enable them to become the orchestrators of innovation and change.

Other activities

Professor Scapens is a member of the Research Board and the Research and Development Panel of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA); having been previously a member, and then, Chairman of CIMA’s Editorial Board and Publications Committee. He is also a member of the Executive Committee of the Faculty of Finance and Management of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales; having been previously, a member of the committee which established the Business Support Group and the subsequently the Faculty of Finance and Management. He is the Editor-in-Chief of Management Accounting Research, and the member of the editorial boards of various other journals.

Publications

Authored book

Busco, C., Giovannoni, E., Frigo, M L., Riccaboni, A., Scapens, R W. The Role of Performance Measurement Systems within Global Organisations. ICAEW, 2006.

Burns, J E., Ezzamel, M., Scapens, R W. The Challenge of Management Accounting Change: behavioural and cultural aspects of change management. Elsevier/CIMA, 2003.

Burns, J E., Ezzamel, M., Scapens, R W., Baldvinsdottir, G. The Future Direction of UK Management Accounting Practice. Elsevier/CIMA, 2003. eScholarID

Scapens, R W., Ryan, B., Theobald, M. Research Methods and Methodology in Accounting and Finance (2nd Edition). Thompson Learning: London, 2002.

Edited book

Hopper, T M., Scapens, R W., Northcott, D. Issues in Management Accounting, 3rd Edition. Edited by T. Hopper, D. Northcott & R. Scapens. , UK: Prentice-Hall, 2007.

Hopper, T M., Ashton, D., Scapens, R W. Issues in Management Accounting, 2nd edn. Edited by D. Ashton, T. Hopper & R. Scapens. , UK: Prentice Hall, 1995.

Hopper, T M., Ashton, D., Scapens, R W. Issues in Management Accounting, 1st edn. Edited by D. Ashton, T. Hopper & R. Scapens. , UK: Prentice Hall, 1991.

Book contribution

Gudrun Baldvinsdottir, John Burns, Hanne Nørreklit, and Robert W. Scapens. "Commentary on Stanley Harding’s Lecture." In Finance in the Broader Sense, ed. Rick Payne, 47-53. London: Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, 2013.

Christopher Humphrey and Robert W. Scapens. "Sustaining a Qualitative Research Tradition." In Met het Oog op de Publieke Zaak, 159-171. Groningen, The Netherlands: Valkgoep Accounting, University of Groningen, 2010.

Robert W. Scapens. "The Changing Role of the Controller." In Caleidoscoop van Accounting Onderzoek, 103-115. Groningen, The Netherlands: Valkgoep Accounting, University of Groningen, 2010.

Scapens, Robert, and Varoutsa, Evangelia. "Accounting in Inter-Organisation Relationships: The Institutional Theory Perspective." In Accounting in Networks, ed. Håkan Håkansson, Kalle Kraus, and Johnny Lind, 314-341. London: Routledge, 2010.

Burns, J., Scapens, R W. "Organizational Routines in Accounting." In Handbook of Organizational Routines, ed. Markus C. Becker, Eward Elgar, 2008.

Scapens, R W. "Changing Times: management accounting research and practice from a UK perspective." In Contemporary Issues in Management Accounting, 329-354.Oxford University Press, 2006.

Busco, C., Giovannoni, E., Riccaboni, A., Frigo, M., Scapens, R W. "Towards 'Integrated Governance': The Role of Performance Measurement Systems." In Performance Measurement and Management Control: Improving Organizations and Society, ed. Epstein, M and Manzoni, J-F, 159-186.Elsevier, 2006.

Scapens, R W. "Doing Case Study Research." In The Real Life Guide to Accounting Research, 257-279.Elsevier, 2004.

Scapens, R W., Burns J. "Intra-organisational Change: an institutional perspective." Elgar, 2004.

Scapens, R W. "The Many Skills of the Case Researcher." In Handbook of Qualitative Research for International Business, 107-108.Edward Elgar, 2004.

Hopper, T M., Ashton, D., Scapens, R W. "The Changing Nature of Issues in Management Accounting." In Issues in Management Accounting, ed. D. Ashton, T. Hopper & R. Scapens,Hemel Hempstead: Prentice Hall, 1995.

Hopper, T M., Ashton, D., Scapens, R W. "Post World War II Management Accounting in Retrospect." In Issues in Management Accounting, ed. D. Ashton, T. Hopper & R. Scapens, Hemel Hempstead: Prentice Hall, 1991.

Journal article

Ali M. Elharidy, Brian Nicholson and Robert W Scapens, (2013) “The Embeddedness of Accounting Outsourcing Relationships,” Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management, 10, no. 1(2013) : 60-77.

Antti Rautiainen and Robert W. Scapens. Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management 10, no. 2(2013) : 100-126

Robert W Scapens. "Institutional Theory and Management Accounting Research." MAB: Maanblad voor Accountancy en Bedrijfshuishoudkunde 86, no. 10(2012) : 401-409.

Henk J. ter Bogt & Robert W. Scapens. "Performance Management in Universities: Effects of the Transition to More Quantitative Measurement Systems." European Accounting Review 21, no. 3(2012) : 451-497.

Cristiano Busco and Robert W Scapens. "Management Accounting Systems and Organisational Culture: Interpreting their Linkages and Processes of Change." Qualitative Research in Accounting and Management 8, no. 4(2011): 320-357.

Luis Marques, João Ribeiro and Robert W Scapens. "The Use of Management Control Mechanisms by Public Organizations with a Network Coordination Role: A case study in the port industry." Management Accounting Research 22, no. 4(2011) : 269-291.

Inês Cruz, Maria Major and Robert W. Scapens. "The localisation of a global management control system." Accounting, Organizations and Society 36, no. 7(2011): 412-427.

ChunLei Yang and Robert W. Scapens. "Chinese Public Finance Framework: A Contextual Analysis." Financial Accountability and Management 26, no. 3(2010).

Gudrun Baldvinsdottir, John Burns, Hanne Nørreklit, and Robert W. Scapens. "Professional Accounting Media: Accountants handing over control to the system." Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management 7, no. 3(2010) : 395-414.

Cruz Inês, Maria Major and Robert W. Scapens. "Institutionalization and practice variation in the management control of a global/local setting." Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal 22, no. 1(2009) : 91-117.

Gudrun Baldvinsdottir, John Burns, Hanne Nørreklit and Robert W Scapens. "The Image of Accountants: From Bean Counters to Extreme Accountants." Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal 22, no. 6(2009) : 858-882.

Cristiano Busco, Elena Giovannoni, Scapens, R W. "Managing the tensions in integrating global organisations: The role of performance management systems." Management Accounting Research 19, no. 2(2008) .

Scapens, R W., Yang, C Y. "Pluralist Ontology: Comments on Llewellyn (2007)." Qualitative Research in Management and Accounting 5.1(2008) : 15-20.

Scapens, R W. "Seeking the Relevance of Interpretive Research: A Contribution to the Polyphonic Debate." Critical Perspectives on Accounting Vol. 19 No. 6(2008) : 915–919.

Mostafa Jazayeri, Scapens, R W. "The Business Values Scorecard within BAE Systems: the evolution of a performance measurement system." British Accounting Review 40.1(2008) : 48-70.

Jeltje van der Meer-Kooistra, Scapens, R W. "The Governance of Lateral Relations between and within Organisations." Management Accounting Research Vol.19 No.4(2008) .

Ali M. Elharidy, Brian Nicholson and Robert Scapens. "Using Grounded Theory in Interpretive Management Accounting Research." Qualitative Research in Accounting and Management 5, no. 2(2008) : 139-155.

Abu Kasim Nor-Aziah, Abu Kasim, Scapens, R W. "Corporatisation and Accounting Change: The Role of Accounting and Accountants in a Malaysian Public Utility." Management Accounting Research 18.2(2007): 209-247.

Ribeiro Joao A, Scapens, R W. "Institutional Theories and Management Accounting Change: Contributions, Issues and Paths for Development." Qualitative Research in Management and Accounting 3.2(2006): 94-111

Ribeiro, J. A., Scapens, R W. "Institutional Theories and management Accounting Change: Contributions, Issues and Paths for Development." Qualitative Research in Management and Accounting 3, 2(2006): 94-111.

Busco, C, Riccaboni, A, Scapens, R W. "Trust for Accounting and Accounting for Trust." Management Accounting Research 17(1) (2006): 11-41

Scapens, R W. "Understanding Management Accounting Practices: a personal journey." British Accounting Review 38.1(2006): 1-30.

Busco Cristiano, Giovannoni Elena, Frigo Mark L, Riccaboni Angelo, Scapens, R W. "Beyond Compliance: why integrated governance matters today." Strategic Fiance LXXXVII.2(2005) : 34-43.

Scapens, R W. "Reactions on Reading "The Withering of Criticism"." Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal 18.1(2005) : 147-149.

Siti-Nabiha, Abdul Khaled, Scapens, R W. "Stability and Change: an institutionalist study of management accounting change." Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal 18(1)(2005) : 44-73.

Jazayeri Mostafa, Scapens, R W. "ERP systems and management accounting change: opportunities or impacts? A research note." European Accounting Review 12 (1)(2004) : 201-233.

Ahmed, M, Scapens, R W. "The Evolution of Cost-Based Pricing Rules in Britain: an institutionalist perspective." Review of Political Economy 15(2)(2003) : 173-191.

Busco Cristiano, Riccaboni Angelo, Scapens, R W. "When 'culture' matters: management accounting change: within processes of organisational learning and transformation." Reflections: the Society for Organization Learning Journal 4 (1)(2002) : 43-52.

Hopper, T M., Otley D, Scapens, R W. "British Accounting Research: whence and whither: Opinions and Reflections." British Accounting Review 33(2001) : 263-292.

van Helden, G J, van der Meer-Kooistra, J, Scapens, R W. "Co-ordination of internal transactions at Hoogovens steel: struggling with the tension between performance-oriented business units and the concept of an integrated company." Management Accounting Research 12(3)(2001) : 357-386.

Bromwich Mike, Scapens, R W. "Management Accounting Research: the first decade." Management Accounting Research 12:2(2001) : 245-254.

Burns, J E., Scapens, R W. "Conceptualising Management Accounting Change: an institutional framework." 10(2000) .

Scapens, R W. "Cost Allocation In Britain: towards an institutional analysis." 9(2000) : 159-204.

Scapens, R W. "Transparency, Accounting Knowledge and Perceived Fairness in the UK. Universities Resource Allocation: Results from a Survey of Accounting and Finance." 32(1)(2000) : 1-42.

Scapens, R W. "Broadening the Scope of Management Accounting: from a micro-economic to a broader business perspective." December 1999(1999) : 640-651.

Scapens, R W. "Management Accounting and Strategic Control: implications for management accounting research." Vol 70, No 1(1998) : 11-17.

Scapens, R W., Jazayeri Mostafa. "SAP: integrated information systems and the implications for management accountants." Vol 76, No 8(1998) : 46-48.

Scapens, R W. "Performance Related Pay: a case study of a small business." Vol 15, No 4(1997) : 48-63.

Burns John E, Scapens, R W., Southworth Alan, Turley, S. "External Financial Reporting and Management Information: a survey of UK management accountants." Vol 7, No1(1996) : 73-93.

Scapens, R W. "Rhetoric and Case Study Research: a reply to Joni Young & Alistair Preston and to Sue Llewellyn." 9(1996) : 119-122.

Scapens, R W. "Structure and Agency in Management Accounting Research: a response to Boland's interpretive act." Vol 21, No 7/8(1996) : 675-690.

Scapens, R W. "Theories and Case Studies of Organisational Accounting Practices: limitation or liberation?" Vol 9, No 4(1996) : 86-106.

Humphrey, C., Scapens, R W. "Theories and Case Studies: Limitation or Liberation?" Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal 9(4)(1996) : 86-106.

Humphrey, C., Miller, P., Scapens, R W. "Accountability and ‘Accountable Management’ in the UK Public Sector." Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal 6(3)(1993) : 7-29.

Humphrey, C., Miller, P., Scapens, R W. "Accounting, Accountability and the ‘New’ UK Public Sector”, Editorial for a Dedicated Issue on the UK Public Sector." Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal 6(3)(1993) : 5-6.

Hopper, T M., Kirkham, L., Scapens, R W., Turley, S. "Does Financial Accounting Dominate Management Accounting - a research note." Management Accounting Research 3(1992) : 307-311.

Humphrey, C., Scapens, R W. "Whatever Happened to the Liontamers: An Examination of Accounting Change in the UK Public Sector." Local Government Studies 18(3)(1992) : 141-147.

Report

Scapens, R W., Busco, C., Giovannoni, E. 2006. Building an Integrated Governance Framework. Issue 136.

Jazayeri Mostafa, Scapens, R W. 2005. Case Studies: Private Sector: BAE systems. CIMA/INSEAD.

Burns, J E., Scapens, R W., Southworth, A., Turley, S. 1996. External Reporting and Management Decisions. London: CIMA.

Newspaper/magazine contribution

Gudrun Baldvinsdottir, John Burns, Hanne Nørreklit, and Robert W. Scapens. "Images of the Profession." Financial Management(2009) : 33-34.

Gudrun Baldvinsdottir, John Burns, Hanne Nørreklit, and Robert W. Scapens. "The Management Accountant’s Role." Financial Management(2009) : 36-37.

Gudrun Baldvinsdottir, John Burns, Hanne Nørreklit, and Robert W. Scapens. "The Management Accountant’s Role." Financial Management(2009) : 33-34.

Coad, A., Scapens, R W. "Beyond Boundaries." Finance and Management(2007) : 3-5.

Busco, C., Frigo, M., Giovannoni, E., Riccaboni, A., Scapens, R W. "Beyond Compliance: an Integrated Governance Framework." ICAEW Research Briefing(2006) .

Scapens, R W., Busco, C. and Giovannoni, E. "Building an Integrated Governance Framework." Finance and Management 136(2006) : 12-14.

Scapens, R W. "Changing Times: changes in management accounting research practice." CIMA Insight(2006) .

Busco, C., Giovannoni, E., Frigo, M.L., Riccaboni, A., Scapens, R W. "Integrating Organisations Through Performance Measures." Strategic Finance(2006) : 31-35.

Coad, A., Scapens, R W. "Inter-Organisational Cost Management." Financial Management(2006) : 38-39.

Busco, C., Riccaboni, A., Scapens, R W. "Culture Vultures." Financial Management(2001) : 30-32.

Burns, J E., Scapens, R W. "Role Rehearsal." 10(2000) .

Burns, J E,. Ezzamel, M., Scapens, R W. "Management Accounting Change in the UK." 77, no. 3(1999) : 28-30.

Scapens, R W., Angluin, D. "Accountancy Called to Book in Quest for Value." Times Newspaper (1997) .

Burns, J E., Scapens, R W., Turley, S. "The Crunch for Numbers."(1997) : 112-113.

Burns, J E., Scapens, R W., Turley, S. "The Influence of External Reporting." 76, no. 2(1997): 70-71.

Burns, J E., Scapens, R W., Turley, S. "Some Further Thoughts on the Changing Practice of Management Accounting Practice." 74, no. 9(1996) : 58-60.

Other

Burns, J E., Ezzamel, M., Scapens, R W. Issues of Implementing Management Accounting Change. 2000. CIMA, London.

Burns, J E., Ezzamel, M., Scapens, R W. The Changing Nature of Management Accounting in the UK. 1999. CIMA, London.

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