Professor Robert Scapens

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Profile photo of: Professor Robert Scapens Email: Show Email Address
Position: Professor of Accounting
Personal home page:
Academic unit: Accounting and Finance


Chartered Accountant (1968)
MA (Econ), Manchester (1972)
PhD, Manchester (1979)
DSc (Econ & Bus Adm) honoris causa, Vaasa, Finland (2006)
DEcon honoris causa, Lund, Sweden (2009)

Professor Scapens' work experience at the University of Manchester began in 1970:
Teaching Fellow (1970-72)
Lecturer (1972-78)
Senior Lecturer (1979-83)
Professor (1983- 2006)
Emeritus Professor (2006-date)

Other current appointments:
Visiting Professor, University of Groningen, the Netherlands (1997-date)
Professor of Management Accounting, University of Birmingham (2013-date)
Founding Editor of Management Accounting Research

Professional Qualifications:
Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales
Member of the Research and Development Group of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Research Interests

Current research interests are in the field of management accounting: processes of management accounting change and resistance to the implementation new systems; the changing nature of management accounting practices and their impact within business organisations; performance measurement systems and their use in the integration of global organisations; the role of case study research methods; the theoretical contributions of institutional economics and structuration theory

Additional Information

Professor Scapens supervises PhD research students, and delivers courses on case study and qualitative research methodology for doctoral students in the Business School as well as seminars on institutional theory and management accounting for doctoral students in accounting.

Programme involvement

Specialist fields




Publication summary




Showing 91 publication(s)


  • Modell, S., Scapens, R., & Chiwamit, P. (2017). Regulation and adaptation of management accounting innovations: the case of Economic Value Added in Thai state-owned enterprises. Management Accounting Research. . Publication link: 97361a26-5337-46e5-8567-4ffce71ea39d



  • Varoutsa, E., & Scapens, R. W. (2015). The governance of inter-organisational relationships during different supply chain maturity phases. Industrial Marketing Management, 46(1), 68-82. . Publication link: 31648eda-bd35-40b2-8847-9df7d5e253ee



  • Rautiainen, A., & Scapens, R. W. (2013). Path-dependencies, constrained transformations and dynamic agency: An accounting case study informed by both ANT and NIS. Qualitative Research in Accounting and Management, 10(2), 100-126. DOI: 10.1108/QRAM-08-2012-0030. Publication link: 6c12ba4c-8942-43c5-b628-352f0a9f9346
  • Scapens, R., & Payne, R. (Ed.) (2013). Commentary on Stanley Harding’s Lecture. In Finance in the Broader Sense. (pp. 47-53). London: Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. . Publication link: af2c16a7-44e2-4dd2-a7ba-df05285ecfb1


  • Scapens, R. W. (2012). How Important is Practice-Relevant Management Accounting Research. Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management, 9(2), 293-295. . Publication link: 8eb71d48-e397-44a3-b456-41d359e67779
  • Scapens, R. W. (2012). Institutional Theory and Management Accounting Research. MAB: Maanblad voor Accountancy en Bedrijfshuishoudkunde, 86(10), 401-409. . Publication link: fb9541df-f4e0-4d3b-8c5c-b3c24f5c1384


  • Marques, L., Ribeiro, J. A., & Scapens, R. W. (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, 22(4), 269-291. DOI: 10.1016/j.mar.2011.09.001. Publication link: 43d0668e-0755-4810-921c-80434dfeb8a6


  • Scapens, R. W., & Humphrey, C. (2010). Sustaining a Qualitative Research Tradition. In Met het Oog op de Publieke Zaak. (pp. 159-171). Groningen, The Netherlands: Valkgoep Accounting, University of Groningen. . Publication link: 96b5dcd9-c048-41e7-8e89-c00770dab185
  • Scapens, R., & Varoutsa, E. (2010). Accounting in Inter-Organisation Relationships: The Institutional Theory Perspective. In Accounting in Networks. (pp. 314-341). London: Routledge. . Publication link: 9fd3a30b-3003-4ffa-ad19-25df189c04ed
  • Scapens, R. W. (2010). The Changing Role of the Controller: The Anti-thesis. In Caleidoscoop van Accounting Onderzoek: Liber Amicorum voor Prof. Dr. Jeltje van der Meer-Kooistra. (pp. 103-115). Groningen, The Netherlands: Valkgoep Accounting, University of Groningen. . Publication link: a2b8ac46-ab5d-421c-a54b-aabbd4c5fc9a


  • Scapens, R. W., Baldvinsdottir, G., Burns, J., & Nørreklit, H. (2009). The Management Accountant’s Role. Financial Management, 33-34. . Publication link: 22dff8d7-bbc0-42ac-b7d1-275f41b0c474
  • Scapens, R. W., Baldvinsdottir, G., Burns, J., & Nørreklit, H. (2009). The Management Accountant’s Role. Financial Management, 36-37. . Publication link: 4b3bcc5c-c05d-45ca-b6c4-0dd62a3ba7a2
  • Scapens, R. W., Baldvinsdottir, G., Burns, J., & Nørreklit, H. (2009). Images of the Profession. Financial Management, 33-34. . Publication link: e8bb8b79-d5cd-4936-9677-5ae1d889db80


  • Burns, J., & Scapens, R. W. (2008). Organizational routines in accounting. In Handbook of Organizational Routines|Handb. of Organ. Routines. (pp. 87-106). Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd. . Publication link: 801ba444-77e7-4df6-90f4-6b86bd20cf87



  • Scapens, R. W., Busco, C., Giovannoni, E., Frigo, M. L., & Riccaboni, A. (2006). Integrating Organisations Through Performance Measures. Strategic Finance, 31-35. . Publication link: c8b9f348-a783-4ac5-8486-5872b7c7c3cc
  • Scapens, R. W., Busco, C., Frigo, M., Giovannoni, E., & Riccaboni, A. (2006). Beyond Compliance: an Integrated Governance Framework. ICAEW Research Briefing. . Publication link: df8d3498-3940-49f5-b2b9-43f97ab1598c
  • Scapens, R. W., Busco, C., Giovannoni, E., Frigo, M. L., & Riccaboni, A. (2006). The Role of Performance Measurement Systems within Global Organisations. ICAEW.. Publication link: e01e1397-36a8-4ca8-8648-b68f21734197
  • Scapens, R. W. (2006). Changing Times: management accounting research and practice from a UK perspective. In Contemporary Issues in Management Accounting. Oxford University Press. . Publication link: 4bf00b15-e425-4d5e-a59f-c9807a8d9745
  • Scapens, R. W., Busco, C., & Giovannoni, E. (2006). Building an Integrated Governance Framework. Finance and Management, 136, 12-14. . Publication link: 2360f1b4-5032-4f3a-9079-6da80d62475b
  • Scapens, R. W., Busco, C., Giovannoni, E., Riccaboni, A., Frigo, M., Epstein, M. (Ed.), & Manzoni, J-F. (Ed.) (2006). Towards 'Integrated Governance': The Role of Performance Measurement Systems. In Performance Measurement and Management Control: Improving Organizations and Society. Elsevier. . Publication link: 8d3c5f9d-1f45-41d9-9bba-64a7c88d55eb


  • Cristiano, B., Elena, G., Frigo, M. L., Angelo, R., Scapens, R., & R, W. (2005). Beyond Compliance: why integrated governance matters today. Strategic Fiance, LXXXVII.2. . Publication link: b49f21d6-dc48-46c3-84e2-70b9e7d7c744


  • Mostafa, J., & Scapens, R. W. (2004). ERP systems and management accounting change: opportunities or impacts? A research note. European Accounting Review, 12 (1). . Publication link: 3913e57f-a2cb-447d-a04b-ba08cffaae02
  • Scapens, R., R, W., & Burns, J. (2004). Intra-organisational Change: an institutional perspective. In host publication. Elgar. . Publication link: fd901bcf-2914-4570-a57e-8e4a8ff4c54e


  • Scapens, R. W., Burns, J. E., Ezzamel, M., & Baldvinsdottir, G. (2003). The Future Direction of UK Management Accounting Practice. Elsevier/CIMA.. Publication link: 86f1df6d-0a82-43a6-aa54-9c30086b70d1
  • Scapens, R. W., Burns, J. E., & Ezzamel, M. (2003). The Challenge of Management Accounting Change: behavioural and cultural aspects of change management. Elsevier/CIMA.. Publication link: 3d269b77-f160-4577-a049-7d911a9be4ed


  • Scapens, R. W., Ryan, B., & Theobald, M. (2002). Research Methods and Methodology in Accounting and Finance (2nd Edition). Thompson Learning: London.. Publication link: 34016c4c-b220-4e26-a96f-96aeffa2408f
  • Cristiano, B., Angelo, R., & Scapens, R. (2002). When 'culture' matters: management accounting change: within processes of organisational learning and transformation. Reflections: the Society for Organization Learning Journal, 4 (1). . Publication link: c0d5f798-5b0b-40d0-9b64-70c1de965f1f


  • Helden, G. J. V., Meer-Kooistra, J. V. D., & Scapens, R. W. (2001). Co-ordination of internal transactions at Hoogovens steel: Struggling with the tension between performance-oriented business units and the concept of an integrated company. Management Accounting Research, 12(3), 357-386. DOI: 10.1006/mare.2001.0166. Publication link: 546b86a8-15cc-44f1-8fcc-adc8b4a7a2f2


  • Scapens, R. W. (2000). Transparency, Accounting Knowledge and Perceived Fairness in the UK. Universities Resource Allocation: Results from a Survey of Accounting and Finance. Unknown Journal, 32(1). . Publication link: f4e7e185-5e5d-443a-aee2-95c78b2e124d
  • Burns, J. E., & Scapens, R. W. (2000). Conceptualising Management Accounting Change: an institutional framework. Unknown Journal, 10. . Publication link: f885f5b1-3b55-435e-b9bd-614e610c817b


  • Scapens, R. W. (1999). Broadening the Scope of Management Accounting: from a micro-economic to a broader business perspective. Unknown Journal, December 1999. . Publication link: 6c21142e-65b0-4d51-8887-60ac4363d958


  • Scapens, R., R, W., & Mostafa, J. (1998). SAP: integrated information systems and the implications for management accountants. Unknown Journal, Vol 76, No 8. . Publication link: fbb3245f-918f-4904-b655-f81a72bff893
  • Scapens, R. W. (1998). Management Accounting and Strategic Control: implications for management accounting research. Unknown Journal, Vol 70, No 1. . Publication link: e3a297eb-c493-45cd-95ff-1c7ef5b21c38



  • Scapens, R. W. (1996). Structure and Agency in Management Accounting Research: a response to Boland's interpretive act. Unknown Journal, Vol 21, No 7/8. . Publication link: 97892f07-6787-4392-9a42-9de6f9c6f4f6
  • Scapens, R. W. (1996). Rhetoric and Case Study Research: a reply to Joni Young & Alistair Preston and to Sue Llewellyn. Unknown Journal, 9. . Publication link: 839256c3-33f3-45e5-86a2-e2b66c25061b
  • Burns, J. E., Scapens, R. W., Southworth, A., & Turley, S. (1996). External Reporting and Management Decisions. London: CIMA.. Publication link: 5ad64f21-d6b4-4d8e-8f18-f5fb6a5554be
  • Scapens, R. W., Burns, J. E., & Turley, S. (1996). Some Further Thoughts on the Changing Practice of Management Accounting Practice. Unknown Journal, 74(9), 58-60. . Publication link: 57aaf76a-8392-4d6f-a733-67557398c17a
  • Humphrey, C., & Scapens, R. W. (1996). Theories and Case Studies: Limitation or Liberation?Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, 9(4). . Publication link: 567418cd-b997-463a-b57d-5355d5da8794
  • Burns, J. E., Scapens, R., Alan, S., & Turley, W. (1996). External Financial Reporting and Management Information: a survey of UK management accountants. Unknown Journal, Vol 7, No1. . Publication link: 240d3363-6153-4e15-9fe4-19c7990d6ac1
  • Scapens, R. W. (1996). Theories and Case Studies of Organisational Accounting Practices: limitation or liberation?Unknown Journal, Vol 9, No 4. . Publication link: f5d3a308-8b2d-4b11-9a94-d1609083d0db


  • Hopper, T., Scapens, R., & Ashton, D. (1995). The Changing Nature of Issues in Management Accounting. In Issues in Management Accounting. Hemel Hempstead: Prentice Hall. . Publication link: 7de351d6-d550-4ecc-8f30-8f20883c099d


  • Humphrey, C., Miller, P., & Scapens, R. W. (1993). Accountability and ‘Accountable Management’ in the UK Public Sector. Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, 6(3). . Publication link: 6179b98d-78b8-48e8-886c-c5394d7b70c1
  • Humphrey, C., Miller, P., & Scapens, R. W. (1993). Accounting, Accountability and the ‘New’ UK Public Sector”, Editorial for a Dedicated Issue on the UK Public Sector. Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, 6(3). . Publication link: 8740220d-c0f4-4409-a266-e5327c2e86c6


  • Humphrey, C., & Scapens, R. W. (1992). Whatever Happened to the Liontamers: An Examination of Accounting Change in the UK Public Sector. Local Government Studies, 18(3). . Publication link: b42ca901-dd26-407e-a337-6c6f1c2d5908
  • Hopper, T. M., Kirkham, L., Scapens, R. W., & Turley, S. (1992). Does Financial Accounting Dominate Management Accounting - a research note. Management Accounting Research, 3, 307-311. . Publication link: 993dc81e-4279-4716-bc5f-7d9a2034f329


  • Hopper, T., Scapens, R., & Ashton, D. (1991). Post World War II Management Accounting in Retrospect. In Issues in Management Accounting. Hemel Hempstead: Prentice Hall. . Publication link: 40810059-8684-4a8e-b983-a1efc0e103af