Jacob G. Birnberg
Robert W. Murphy Jr. Emeritus Professor of Management
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Robert W. Murphy Jr. Emeritus Professor of Management Control Systems Emeritus


263 Mervis Hall


I joined the then Graduate School of Business of the University of Pittsburgh in the fall of 1964, became the Robert W. Murphy Jr. Professor of Management Control Systems in 1993 and became an emeritus faculty member in 2006. Prior to joining the faculty of the KGSB, I was on the faculties of the University of Chicago’s Graduate School of Business from 1960 to 1964 and the University of Minnesota. In 1968 I was a visiting professor at the London Graduate School of Business Studies and during 1977-78 I was a visiting fellow at Oxford University (Templeton College). I have published over 100 papers in refereed journals, books and conference proceedings in areas such as accounting, human behavior, management science, psychology, and public policy.

My research continues to be primarily concerned with the application of behavioral sciences to accounting problems from both macro, i.e., organizational, and micro, i.e., individual or group, perspectives. My current research interests center on the role of modern management techniques, both analytical and behavioral, in planning and controlling the organization and its activities. Of particular interest in this area is the need for the organization’s various systems to be integrated with the firm’s strategy and the role of different sources of uncertainty on the firm’s planning and control systems. This includes issues relating to individual behavior in response to different systems of accountability and intra group processes.

I am active in the editing of and refereeing for journals. I served as editor of Behavioral Research in Accounting (1995-1997) and as an associate editor of Accounting, Organizations and Society from 1975 to 1997. I continue to serve on the editorial boards of numerous accounting journals. I was president of the Management Accounting section of the American Accounting Association (2004-05) and continue to be active in that section as well as the Accounting, Organizations and Behavior section of the American Accounting Section.

Research Interests

Forensic consulting related to the measurement of damages.

Awards and Honors

  • “Lifetime Contribution to Management Accounting Award” (2009) from the Management Accounting Section of the American Accounting Association.
  • Outstanding Accounting Educator Award (2002) from the American Accounting Association.
  • Lifetime Scholarly Contribution Award (1999), Accounting, Behavior and Organizations Section of American Accounting Association.
  • My paper, “The Role of Accounting in Financial Disclosure,” was awarded the Alpha Kappa Psi Award for “the outstanding contribution to the literature of accounting during the year 1980.”
  • My paper, “Control in Inter Firm Cooperative Relationships,” published in the Journal of Management Studies (July 1998) received an Award of Excellence from Anbar.

Professional Service and Activities

  • Currently on the editorial board of Accounting, Organizations and Society, Behavioral Research in Accounting, Management Accounting (U.K.) and Advances in Management Accounting.


  • PhD in Business, University of Minnesota
  • MBA, University of Minnesota
  • BBA in Business (with High Distinction), University of Minnesota

Recent Publications

Journal of Management Accounting Research at 30 Years: Its Context, Creation, Challenges and Contributions.” With M. Shields. Journal of Management Accounting Research (2020) Vol 32 No. 1 (January)  1-10.

“Team-Based Employee Remuneration: A Balanced Scorecard Group Based Target and Weight Selection-Based Bonus Allocation.” With Herath and Bremser.  Accounting Research Journal. (2019) Vol 32 No 2 (July) 252-272.

“Sociological approaches to Organizational Learning: Applications to process innovations in management accounting systems” with Seleshi Sisaye. Advances in Management Accounting. vol. 23 (2014) 1-44.

 “Hardening Soft Accounting Information: Games for Planning Organizational Change.” With Casey Rowe and Michael Shields. AOS. Vol. 37 No. 4 (2012) 260-274.

An Organizational Learning Approach to Process Innovation: The Extent and Scope of Diffusion and Adoption in Management Accounting Systems. With Selshi Sisaye. Studies in Financial and Managerial Accounting Series Number 24. Bingley (UK): Emerald Group Publishing. 2012.

“A Proposed Framework for Behavioral Accounting Research.” Behavioral Research in Accounting. Vol. 23 No. 1 (2011) 1-43

“Is Neuroaccounting Waiting in the Wings? An Essay.” With Ananda Ganguly. AOS. Vol. 37 No.1 (2012) 1-13

“The Case for Post-Modernist Management Accounting: Thinking Outside the Box,” Journal of Management Accounting Research. Vol. 21 (2009) 3-18.

“Organizational Development and Transformational Learning Approaches in Process Innovations: A Review of the Implications to the Management Accounting Literature” With Seleshi Sisaye. Review of Accounting and Finance. vol.9 No. 4 (2010) 337-362.

“Joint Selection of Balanced Scorecard Targets and Weights in a Collaborative Setting” with Hemantha Herath and Wayne Bremser. Journal of Accounting and Public Policy Vol. 29 No. 1 (2010) 45-59

“Facilitating a Team Culture: a Collaborative Balanced Scorecard as an Open Reporting System.” with Herath and Bremser. Advances in Management Accounting. Vol. 18 (2010) 149-173.

“Do the Chinese Have an Accountability Demand for Information: A note,” with Vicky Hoffman and Susana Yuen. Accounting, Organizations and Society. Vol 33 (1), 20-32, 2008.

“The Effects of Organizational Process Change on Responsibility Accounting and Revelation of Managers’ Private Information with Casey Rowe and Michael Shields.Accounting, Organizations and Society. Vol 33 (2/3), 164-198, 2008.

“When Betrayal Aversion Meets Loss Aversion: The Effect of An Economic Downturn on Control System Choice.” With Yue (May) Zhang. Journal of Management Accounting Research. Vol. 23 (2011) 169-187.

“When Betrayal Aversion Meets Loss Aversion: The Effect of An Economic Downturn on Control System Choice.” With Yue (May) Zhang. Journal of Management Accounting Research. Vol. 23 (2011) 169-187.



Academic Area

Business Analytics and Operations