1554 Decision Making and Behavior in Business
Sabrina Hamr, MSc (WU), Mag.Mag. Bernhard Löffler, Mag. Ingrid Dobrovits
Contact details
Weekly hours
Language of instruction
09/27/21 to 10/03/21
Registration via LPIS
Notes to the course
Subject(s) Bachelor Programs
Day Date Time Room
Tuesday 10/19/21 10:00 AM - 01:00 PM TC.4.03
Tuesday 11/02/21 10:00 AM - 01:00 PM TC.4.03
Tuesday 11/09/21 10:00 AM - 01:00 PM TC.4.03
Tuesday 11/30/21 10:00 AM - 01:00 PM Online-Einheit
Tuesday 12/14/21 10:00 AM - 01:00 PM Online-Einheit
Tuesday 12/21/21 10:00 AM - 01:00 PM Online-Einheit
Tuesday 01/11/22 10:00 AM - 01:00 PM TC.4.03
Wednesday 01/26/22 12:30 PM - 02:00 PM Online-Einheit


Knowing the drivers of corporate value is important for long-term and short-term decision making. The course starts discussing important long-term value drivers (like technological change, competition or customer preferences) and derives the need for more specific information for short-term decision making. We address problems arising whenever supporting goal congruent decision making needs very detailed information (e.g. for single products and services or for organizational subunits). Within this framework, we focus on the decision-facilitating role of management accounting and discuss widely accepted tools and techniques of generating and using information for decision making. Additionally, the course illustrates the decision-influencing role of information in the context of delegated decision-making.

Topics covered:


Class 1

Drivers of corporate value and decision making

Class 2

Relating long-term and short term decision making

Class 3

Product costs, cost allocations and information quality

Class 4

Costing systems and decision usefulness

Class 5

Short-term decisions and the importance of constraints

Class 6

Master budget

Class 7

Decentralized organizations and transfer prices

Learning outcomes

Lernergebnisse (Learning Outcomes):

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to

· explain how technological change, competition and globalization, and customer preferences can affect an organization and its information system.

· describe features of organizations that promote decisions to achieve organizational goals.

· explain the critical role played by management accounting in making planning decisions and controlling managers to create organizational value.

· identify cost drivers to explain cost behavior

· identify and measure opportunity costs for making planning decisions.

· identify activities of the organization related to the different products and services that it provides.

· use tools to derive the costs for single products or services.

· explain the role of allocating indirect costs and the impact on information quality.

· identify different types of production systems and corresponding costing systems.

· reflect the benefits and limitations of alternate costing systems for decision making

· explain why short-term decisions differ from strategic decisions.

· treat products as cost objects for the purpose of making product-mix and pricing decisions.

· describe the steps of the master-budgeting process.

· describe the steps of the capital-budgeting process.

· reflect the role of transfer pricing for delegated decision making.

· argue the decision facilitating and decision influencing role of information.

Attendance requirements

Students need to attend at least 80 % of the total amount of class contact hours. Attendance is mandatory, students who do not meet this criteria cannot pass this course.

Teaching/learning method(s)

· Self-guided reading; home assignments, quizzes

· Brief lectures by instructors

· Group work and discussions

· Final exam


30 % Active participation in class (discussions, management summary, presentations, tasks on the learning platform: clicker, checkbox, wiki)

30 % Group work (homework) and discussions

40 % Final-exam (online)


Students need at least 50.5 % of the total points to receive a positive grade. There is no minimum point requirement in the final exam. There are no compensation possibilities for missed assessment tasks.



Excellent (1): 88 % – 100 %

Good (2): 75.5 % – < 88 %

Satisfactory (3): 63 % – < 75.5 %

Sufficient (4): 50.5 % – < 63 %

Fail (5): < 50.5 %


1 Author: McWatters, C./Zimmerman, J.

Management Accounting in a Dynamic Environment

Publisher: Routledge
Edition: 1
Year: 2016
Content relevant for class examination: Yes
Recommendation: Essential reading for all students
Type: Book
Last edited: 2021-09-22