ACF5100 - Strategic Management Accounting

Interview with Christo Karunananthan, Senior Lecturer

What unit do you teach and what are its learning objectives?

I teach Strategic Management Accounting (ACF5100), which is a masters-level unit in accounting. Key objectives/outcomes of this unit are to equip students with the ability to engage in high quality thinking and decision-making, which results in responsible leadership and sustainable development.

Explain the significance of integrating the principles of responsible society and business into your unit curriculum.

By incorporating principles of responsible leadership/management into the curriculum for ACF5100, students are able to understand how the personal and accounting or overall business decisions they make today influence their personal and professional lives, which in turn lead to enhanced personal, organisational, and societal welfare overall.

Which United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs) do your unit address and it what ways? Provide examples of learning activities, initiatives and assessment tasks.

In ACF5100, students are engaged in weekly case analyses, where they engage in multidimensional discussions on complex business/societal problems and have to typically make a good ethical decision. Students are also required to complete two in-semester assessments. For the team applied project, the students have to form teams of six, comprising fictitious stakeholders (e.g., customer, supplier, community leader, investor, etc.) who have to design a fictitious organisation that provides a service or manufactures a product that helps attain any one of the 19 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs). Key objectives are agreeing to shared purpose, vision, top three values, key goals, and performance metrics/targets. An outcome is a purpose-driven scorecard for the organisation. In addition to submitting a written report, the teams are required to make an oral presentation to a fictitious financier and community leader on their idea. The focus is on “selling the idea” to these potential interested parties.

For the individual reflective assignment, each student is required to define his/her life’s purpose, vision, top three values, key goals, and performance measures and targets, and then reflect on how they will hold himself or herself to attaining their key goals.

The emphasis in ACF5100 is on student-centred learning. Thus, by taking ownership of their learning in teams, students would hopefully realise the importance of responsible leadership/management.

What are your top priorities for improvement of your unit to even better contribute to developing responsible leaders of tomorrow?

One of my plans for ACF5100 is to have student teams work on social responsibility issues faced by real organisations for the team assignment. I would also like to have judges from these organisations serve on a panel to evaluate the oral presentations made by the student teams. By doing this, students would gain a better appreciation on real world issues pertaining to social responsibility and how their decisions and ideas are viewed by executives in real organisations.