Behavioural Management Accounting


Mainly using theories from psychology and behavioural economics, Behavioural Management Accounting is an integral part of ERIM’s internationally respected Finance and Accounting programme. This theme focuses on developing new and valuable insights into the design of budgeting systems and performance evaluation processes and the effects of monetary and non-monetary incentives on decision-making.

As with all of ERIM’s research themes, the emphasis is on developing new knowledge that is of practical value in addressing real-world scenarios, is of benefit societally and advances the boundaries of management science.

Faculty members working in the area of Behavioural Management Accounting have a particularly strong tradition in survey and experimental research, although a diversity of research methods are used. Experimental research, for example, benefits greatly from state-of-the-art technologies such as eye tracking and neuro-imaging courtesy of the world-leading Erasmus Behavioural Lab, which provides a strong competitive advantage for those working in this field at ERIM.

While research in this theme is sharply focused on increasing understanding of accounting and control systems in organisations, its work is of great interest to those in related fields. For example, researchers make important contributions in spheres such as general management, human resource management and business ethics. In addition, research often focuses on the design of costing systems, on controlling corporate sustainability and on management accounting in the healthcare sector – and how such aspects impact the decision-making of medical professionals.

Examples of recent published work include studies on managers’ use of discretion in evaluation decisions, the perceived fairness of such evaluations, and investigations into the measurement, reporting and incentivising of environmental performance – all of which offer new and valuable insights that will benefit both management scientists and practitioners.


Working in a motivated, supportive and collaborative environment where common goals are shared is integral to the development of research that achieves ERIM’s prerequisites of professional excellence, societal relevance and meaningful impact.