Professor Robert Scapens

Professor Robert Scapens

The Department of Accounting
Professor of Management Accounting

Contact details

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

Professor Robert W. Scapens is a part-time professor in the Department of Accounting at 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. 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 in 1990 and the Editor-in-Chief until 2014. 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 (1972)
  • 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 University of Manchester 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, inter-organisational relationships, and performance measurement and management.

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 European universities.

Postgraduate supervision

Professor Scapens has successfully supervised 29 PhD students, as well as numerous Master’s students, and he is currently supervising 2 PhD students in Manchester.

Research

Current projects:

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.

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 their theoretical framework to study product development projects which involve multiple parties within and outside the boundaries of the firm.

Other projects/papers
The effects of the globalisation of banking regulation and supervision: with Anna-Karin Stockenstrand, Uppsala University, Sweden.

Managing the complexities of innovation: with  Elena Giovannoni, Royal Holloway, University of London.

Control of networks involving third parties: with Luis Marques, João Ribeiro, University of Porto, Portugal.

Extending the Burns and Scapens Framework: with Henk ter Bogt, University of Groningen, The Netherlands.

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.

Publications

Inês Cruz, Robert W Scapens and Maria Major (2011), “The Localisation of a Global Management Control System” Accounting, Organizations and Society, Vol. 36 No. 7, pp. 412-427.

Luis Marques, João Ribeiro and Robert W Scapens (2011), “The use of Management Control Mechanisms by Public Organizations with a Network Coordination Role: A case study in the Port Industry”, Management Accounting Research, Vol. 22 No. 4, pp. 269-291.

Henk ter Bogt and Robert W Scapens (2012), “Performance Management in Universities: Effects of the Transition to More Quantitative Measurement Systems”, European Accounting Review, Vol. 21 No. 3, pp. 451-497.
 
Hanne Nørreklit and Robert W Scapens (2014), “From persuasive to authoritative speech genres: Writing accounting research for a practitioner audience”, Accounting Auditing & Accountability Journal, Vol. 27 No. 8, pp. 1271-1307

Evangelia Varoutsa and Robert W Scapens (2015), “The governance of inter-organisational relationships during different supply chain maturity phases”, Industrial Marketing Management, Vol.46 No.1, pp. 68-82.
 
Jeltje van der Meer-Kooistra and Robert W Scapens (2015) “Governing product co-development projects: the role of minimal structures”, Management Accounting Research, Vol.28, pp.68-91.
 
Lynda Taylor and Robert W Scapens (2016), “The role of identity and image in shaping management accounting change”, Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Vol.29 Issue 6, pp.1075-1099.
 
Pimsiri Chiwamit, Sven Modell and Robert W Scapens (2017). “Regulation and adaptation of management accounting innovations: The case of economic value added in Thai state-owned enterprises”, Management Accounting Research. Vol. 37, pp.30-48.
 
Evangelia Varoutsa and Robert W Scapens (2017), “Trust and Control in Evolving Inter-organisational Relationships: Evidence from the Aerospace Industry”, Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Vol. 31 No. 1, pp. 112-140. 

 

Inês Cruz, Robert W Scapens and Maria Major (2011), “The Localisation of a Global Management Control System” Accounting, Organizations and Society, Vol. 36 No. 7, pp. 412-427.

 

Luis Marques, João Ribeiro and Robert W Scapens (2011), “The use of Management Control Mechanisms by Public Organizations with a Network Coordination Role: A case study in the Port Industry”, Management Accounting Research, Vol. 22 No. 4, pp. 269-291.

 

Henk ter Bogt and Robert W Scapens (2012), “Performance Management in Universities: Effects of the Transition to More Quantitative Measurement Systems”, European Accounting Review, Vol. 21 No. 3, pp. 451-497.

 

Hanne Nørreklit and Robert W Scapens (2014), “From persuasive to authoritative speech genres: Writing accounting research for a practitioner audience”, Accounting Auditing & Accountability Journal, Vol. 27 No. 8, pp. 1271-1307

Evangelia Varoutsa and Robert W Scapens (2015), “The governance of inter-organisational relationships during different supply chain maturity phases”, Industrial Marketing Management, Vol.46 No.1, pp. 68-82.

 

Jeltje van der Meer-Kooistra and Robert W Scapens (2015) “Governing product co-development projects: the role of minimal structures”, Management Accounting Research, Vol.28, pp.68-91.

 

Lynda Taylor and Robert W Scapens (2016), “The role of identity and image in shaping management accounting change”, Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Vol.29 Issue 6, pp.1075-1099.

 

Pimsiri Chiwamit, Sven Modell and Robert W Scapens (2017). “Regulation and adaptation of management accounting innovations: The case of economic value added in Thai state-owned enterprises”, Management Accounting Research. Vol. 37, pp.30-48.

 

Evangelia Varoutsa and Robert W Scapens (2017), “Trust and Control in Evolving Inter-organisational Relationships: Evidence from the Aerospace Industry”, Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Vol. 31 No. 1, pp. 112-140.