in association with the

Online Conference
19 and 20 November 2020 

Due to the exceptional circumstances from the Covid-19 pandemic, the annual Aston MARG/MCA conference is going online this year.  It will be held on Thursday 19 and Friday 20 November 2020, and will be managed by Aston Business School, Birmingham. 

This year, the conference theme will focus on 'New Public Management (NPM) with a Twist: What the Private Sector Can Learn from the Public Sector'. We aim to interpret this theme broadly, and encourage submissions discussing NPM related developments in (management) accounting and control research, education, and practice. Although papers focusing on the conference theme will be preferred, papers are invited that address any area of research, education and practice within management accounting and control. Papers from practitioners are especially welcome
The first day (19 November) will start at 9.00 am (GMT) for half a day and end in a panel session hosted by ICAEW.

The second day (20 November) will also begin with a plenary at 9.00 am (GMT), with the remainder of the day consisting mainly of parallel sessions in which research in various stages of development will be presented. PhD students and early career researchers are particularly encouraged to present their work in this setting. The day will conclude with a CIMA sponsored plenary session.

Conference organising committee
  • Carolyn Cordery, Professor in Charity Accounting and AccountabilityAston Business School

  • Ivo De Loo, Professor of Management Accounting and Control at Nyenrode Business University 

  • Elaine Harris, Professor of Accounting and Management, University of Roehampton

  • Melina Manochin, Dr,Senior Lecturer, Deputy Head of the Accounting Department, Aston Business School

  • Maria Podsiadly, Conference and Events Manager, Aston Business School

Paper submissions and the next steps 

Full papers or extended abstracts should be submitted by 21 September 2020

Authors will be advised the review outcome by 30 September 2020.

(Please note that for plenary presentations preference will be given to full papers).

Paper submissions now closed 

If your abstract / full paper has been accepted for presentation, please upload your powerpoint slides or  poster and final abstract or full paper to by 11 November.

For enquiries please contact:

Registration fees 

Conference registration fee is £60. This fee grants one individual full-access pass to the virtual conference on both days and conference materials.

Registration is free of charge for all presenters and PhD students. 


To register, please click here.

Registration deadline: 12 November 

Keynote Speakers
Ileana Steccolini, Professor of Accounting, Essex Business School

Ileana Steccolini is a Professor of Accounting at Essex Business School. Her expertise develops at the interface among accounting and public administration and management, covering, among others, public sector accounting, budgeting, performance management and accountability, reform and change processes, governmental financial resilience, inclusion, participation and gender in public services. She is Joint editor of Financial Accountability and Management, the chair and founder of the Accounting and Accountability Special Interest Group within the International Research Society of Public Management, the Chair of the Standing Scientific Committee of the European Accounting Association, and a member of the IRSPM board. 

Laurence Ferry, Professor in Accounting, Durham University

Dr Laurence Ferry is an award winning Professor in Accounting for Democracy at Durham University Business School, Head of Department for Accounting, a Senior Leader on the Dean’s Faculty Executive Team, Senator on the University Senate, member of CIPFA’s International Advisory Board and Adviser at the UK Parliament having been a prestigious Parliamentary Academic Fellow. He earned his PhD from the Warwick Business School, is a qualified chartered accountant, and holds a first class accounting degree. His research, teaching and consulting covers accounting and accountability with a specific focus on the public sector where he is a very well recognized international expert in public financial management. During REF2021 he has published over 30 journal articles, whilst winning various awards for best papers, impact and teaching. He serves as associate editor of Accounting Forum and on half a dozen editorial boards including Accounting Auditing and Accountability Journal, Qualitative Research in Accounting and Management, Public Money and Management and Journal of Public Budgeting Accounting and Financial Management.

Thomas Ahrens, Professor of Accounting, United Arab Emirates University

Thomas Ahrens is a Professor of Accounting. He earned his PhD at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). Following positions at the University of Southampton, LSE, and the University of Warwick, where he served as Associate Dean for graduate programmes for three years, he joined UAEU in 2010. His research has focused on management accounting and control in the public and private sector. He is an associate editor of Management Accounting Research, a co-editor of the Journal of Management and Governance, and a member of the editorial boards of the Accounting Auditing and Accountability Journal, Accounting Organizations and Society, International Journal of Economics Management and Accounting, and Qualitative Research in Accounting and Management.


An opportunity at the end of each day to meet and network with colleagues using a virtual space where delegates can choose their conversation partners/groups by approaching others. We strongly encourage all attendees to join this post event networking session as it is a fantastic opportunity for accounting/finance professionals around the world to connect and exchange best practices in all aspects of (management) accounting and control research, education, and practice. Don’t miss out and be sure to join us for a post-conference ‘drink’.





Management Accounting Research Group Conference 2020
In association with the Management Control Association



Date: Thursday, 19 November 2020 (all times GMT)


9:00 am - 9:30 am                          


9:30 am - 11:00 am


Welcome – Professor Carolyn Cordery (Chair)*, Professor Elaine Harris 
SESSION 1: Keynote 1 - Thomas Ahrens, UAE University
A decade of research - critical reflection of management control at NCC
SESSION 2: Keynote 2 – Laurence Ferry, Durham University
A comparative study of audit and inspection in UK local government


11:00 am - 11:20 am 

Mid-morning refreshments


11:25 am - 11:55 am


Professor Elaine Harris (Chair)*
SESSION 3: New Public Management (NPM) with a Twist: What the Private Sector Can Learn from the Public Sector


12:00 pm - 12:30 pm


Rick Payne (Chair)*
ICAEW Discussion Panel: Thomas Ahrens, Laurence Ferry & Ileana Steccolini

12:30 pm - 1:30 pm

Social time on Wonder


Date: Friday, 20 November 2020 (all times GMT)


09:00 am - 09:3 0am





 9:30 am - 10:05 am



Welcome – Professor Carolyn Cordery (Chair)*
SESSION 4: Keynote 3 – Ileana Steccolini, University of Essex
Learning from public sector accounting research:  accounting for resilience


10:15 am - 11:20 am




10:15 am - 11:20 am




10:15 am - 11:20 am




11:20 am - 11:40 am 


Mid-morning refreshments


11:45 am - 12:50 pm




11:45 am - 12:50 pm




11:45 am - 12:50 pm




1:00 pm - 1:30 pm



Professor Elaine Harris (Chair)*
CIMA Final plenary: Nick Jackson CIMA President
Responsible Financial Leadership: a necessary condition for sustainable business


1:30 pm-2:30 pm

Social time on Wonder



Keynote 1 - A decade of research - critical reflection of management control at NCC

Date/Time: Thursday, 19 November 2020, 9:40 am -10:20 am

This presentation provides a critical reflection on a decade of research into unfolding management control practices at NCC in the field of English local government during austerity-localism. It illustrates how management control becomes more than the management accounting, enrolling a broader democratic accountability for public services.

Professor Thomas AHRENS
UAE University



Keynote 2 – A comparative study of audit and inspection in UK local government

Date/Time: Thursday, 19 November 2020, 10:20 am - 11:00 am

This presentation considers the role of management control in audit and inspection in the regulatory spaces of UK local government. It will be shown that management control can be malleable in how it underpins different connotations of what constitutes democratic accountability.

Professor Laurence FERRY
Durham University



New Public Management (NPM) with a Twist: What the Private Sector Can Learn from the Public Sector

Date/Time: Thursday, 19 November 2020, 11:25 am - 11:55 am

The mutual and recursive influences between public sector and professional service firms (PSFs) - A study on how public sector organizations shape the provider relationship with PSFs and internal performance of PSFs.

Eleonore BROUARD
ESCP Business School, France



Keynote 3 – Learning from public sector accounting research: accounting for resilience

Date/Time: Friday, 20 November 2020, 9:30 am - 10:05 am

Accounting has often been described as a medium for ensuring stability and control. At the same time, scholars have become increasingly interested in understanding how accounting can support and enable strategizing, innovation, change and creativity within organizations.

In an increasingly unpredictable world, where shocks and crises are becoming the «new normal», and organizations and society find themselves faced with increasingly complexity and «wicked issues», there is a need to understand better how accounting can support, at the same time, stability and change, facilitating organizations in both bouncing back and bouncing forward in response to difficulties and shocks.

In short, we need a stronger understanding of how accounting can hamper or facilitate resilience.

International research on local governments financial resilience allows us to reflect on the organizational capacities needed to anticipate and cope with crises, and whether and how accounting supports them, pointing to new possible research avenues.

It also highlights the need to reflect how a focus on managerialism and efficiency may be not only at odds with traditional values of social equity and fairness, but also with the need for public sector organizations to be robust and resilient, and provide the needed context and support for effective collective action, in response to local and global shocks.

Professor Ileana STECCOLINI
University of Essex



Date/Time:  Friday 20 November, 2020, 10:15 am - 11:20 am

Chair: Alan Lowe
Moderator: Thu Nguyen

10:15 am - 10:35 am
Trust and Beneficiary Accountability: Evidence from an Indonesian NGO

Miranti Kartika Dewi1, Melina Manochin2, Ataur Belal3
1Faculty of Economics and Business, Universitas Indonesia, Indonesia; 2Aston Business School, Aston University, UK; 3Sheffield University Management School, Sheffield University, UK

 10:40 am - 11:00 am
Accountability and American Airlines: Examining the ‘Plague’ of 2020

Hugo Letiche1, Ivo De Loo2, Alan Lowe3, David Yates4
1University of Leicester; Institut Mines TBS Evry/Paris; 2Nyenrode Business University, Netherlands, The; 3RMIT Melbourne; 4Aston Business School

 11:00 am – 11:20 am
Uncovering the ethical dimensions of algorithmic mobilization during COVID-19 pandemic: A sociomaterial perspective

Martin Kyere
Aston University, United Kingdom



Date/Time:  Friday 20 November 2020, 10:15 am - 11:20 am

Chair: Janet Mack
Moderator: Salman Ahmad

10:15 am - 10:35 am
The role of performance measurement systems in public export promotion, can the private sector learn from it?

Stephane Ruiz-Coupeau1, Juan Manuel Ramón-Jerónimo2, Raquel Flórez-López2
1University of Seville, Spain; 2University of Pablo de Olavide, Spain 

10:40 am - 11:00 am
Performance management across networks: insights from a network of public and third-sector providers of substance misuse services

Pawel Abramik
University of Bristol, United Kingdom

11:00 am – 11:20 am
Managing the unmeasurable: developing a new performance management framework.

Cathy Anne Knowles
Oxford Brookes University, United Kingdom



Date/Time: Friday 20 November 2020, 10:15 am - 11:20 am

Chair: Elaine Harris
Moderator: Maria Podsiadly

10:15 am - 10:35 am
Linking Strategy and Budgeting in a Dynamic Environment: The Case of Vodafone Portugal

Rui Vieira1, Nuno Pina2
1IE University, Spain; 2Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal

10:40 am - 11:00 am
BP Risk Governance following the Deepwater Horizon Incident

Nader Elsayed
Qatar University, Qatar

11:00 am – 11:20 am
The Construction of Resilience: a Study of UK Companies

Rodrigo Silva de Souza
University of Roehampton, United Kingdom



Date/Time:  Friday 20 November 2020, 11:45 am - 12:50 pm

Chair: Melina Manochin
Moderator: Thu Nguyen

11:45 am - 12:05 pm
The mediating role of business – IT alignment on the association between organisational culture and information systems

Sandy Arief, Sophia Su, Kevin Baird
Macquarie University, Australia

12:10pm - 12:30pm
Top management teams and management control system sophistication: The role of CEO origin

Mohamed Ahmed
Kyoto University, Japan

12:30 pm - 12:50 pm
Project Outcome Objectives and Escalation of Commitment: Experimental Evidence

Dipankar Ghosh1, Stacey Whitecotton2
1University of Oklahoma, United States of America; 2Arizona State University, Unites States of America



Date/Time:  Friday 20 November 2020, 11:45 am - 12:50 pm

Chair: Ivo De Loo
Moderator: Janet Mack

11:45 am - 12:03 pm
Individual accountability through sustainability control within a Swedish public sector organisation

Sebastian Nylander, Leanne Johnstone
Örebro University School of Business, Sweden

2:05 pm - 12:23 pm
Water, Accounting, Socio-ecological systems and SDG.

Ian Thomson1, Helen Tregidga2, Iris Burgia3, Massimo Contrafatto3
1University of Birmingham, United Kingdom; 2Royal Holloway; 3University of Bergamo

12:25 pm - 12:42 pm
The use of management control systems in social enterprises

Varaporn Pothipala
Chulalongkorn University, Thailand

12:43 pm - 12:50 pm
In between total and particular ideologies: the application of the precautionary principle in Sweden and France

Bruno COHANIER1, Ivo De Loo2
1EADA BUSINESS SCHOOL, Spain; 2Nyenrode Business University 



Date/Time:  Friday 20 November 2020, 11:45 am - 12:50 pm

Chair: Carolyn Cordery
Moderator: Maria Podsiadly

 11:45 am - 12:05 pm
An ethnography of change: the case of a naval officer entering the world of academia

Richard Thomas
Royal Navy, United Kingdom

12:10 pm - 12:30 pm
A systematic review of how management accounting in public healthcare has developed within the surrounding environment and organizational contexts -under the setting of reforming public healthcare management since the 1980s

Linxi Shi1, Pingli Li1, Bai Xue2, Krish Vithana1
1University of Southampton, United Kingdom; 2Aston University

12:30 pm - 12:50 pm
Dysfunction of Clinical Path: A Case of Japanese Medical Service

1Doshisha University, Japan; 2Sasa Planning, Japan 



Paper submission

21 September 2020

Review outcome

30 September 2020

Presenter booking deadline

14 October 2020

Delegate booking deadline

12 November 2020

Upload of PowerPoint slides or poster 

11 November 2020

Upload of final abstract / full paper 

11 November 2020


This conference is part funded by ICAEW's charitable trusts. The support of the Management Control Association (MCA) and CIMA is also gratefully acknowledged.


For more information please email Maria Podsiadly