Educating management accountants as business partners

Morten Jakobsen (Department of Management, Aarhus University, School of Business and Social Sciences, Aarhus, Denmark)
Falconer Mitchell (Edinburgh University, Edinburgh, UK)
Hanne Nørreklit (Department of Management, Aarhus University, School of Business and Social Sciences, Aarhus, Denmark)
Mihaela Trenca (Department of Management, Aarhus University, School of Business and Social Sciences, Aarhus, Denmark)

Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management

ISSN: 1176-6093

Publication date: 19 June 2019

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate a paradigmatic foundation for educators to prepare students of management accounting for the new demands of the role of trusted business partner in practice.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper argues for the use of pragmatic constructivism as a basis for development of a paradigmatic foundation for educating advanced students of management accounting. Furthermore, it contains an empirical insight through a case example of how pragmatic constructivism can be used as a pedagogical tool in different management accounting educational situations.

Findings

The analysis shows how pragmatic constructivism can be used as a less reductionist paradigm than realism to tackle the research-teaching-practice deficiencies found in conventional thinking on accounting education. Pragmatic constructivism is shown to provide important methodological and conceptual elements in developing, understanding and guiding the application of management accounting techniques in dynamic business practices. Placing an emphasis on teaching methodological skills relevant for management accountants is shown to have an important impact on students and their ability to act as business partners.

Research limitations/implications

The analysis is exploratory in the sense that a new paradigmatic framework for educating students of management accounting to be business partners is outlined and illustrated through its implementation in a specific master’s degree programme. However, this analysis should be viewed as only a first step towards developing pragmatic constructivism as a paradigmatic foundation for teaching management accounting as a basis for a business partner role.

Originality/value

The proposed use of research on pragmatic constructivism as a basis for management accounting education to support a future business partner role is novel in the literature on management accounting. The value of its application lies in its potential to create successful utilisation of the practices of management accounting.

Keywords

Citation

Jakobsen, M., Mitchell, F., Nørreklit, H. and Trenca, M. (2019), "Educating management accountants as business partners", Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/QRAM-10-2017-0099

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Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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