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2016/2017  KAN-CCMVV2501U  Costing and Design Business

English Title
Costing and Design Business

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Quarter
Start time of the course First Quarter
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Max. participants 45
Study board
Study Board for MSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Tamas Vamosi - Department of Operations Management (OM)
Kontaktinformation: https:/​/​e-campus.dk/​studium/​kontakt eller Contact information: https:/​/​e-campus.dk/​studium/​kontakt
Main academic disciplines
  • Innovation
  • Accounting
  • Economics
Last updated on 04-07-2016
Learning objectives
To achieve the grade 12, students should meet the following learning objectives with no or only minor mistakes or errors: At the end of the course the students should be able to:
• Describe and explain the models, terms, perspectives and theories presented in the course.
• Use models, terms, perspectives and theories presented on specific cases and examples for the purpose of identifying costing and management accounting problems.
• Undertake analysis and present general and/or specific solutions departing in the curricula presented regarding design propositions in companies and costing and management accounting calculations.
• Use models, terms, perspectives and theories presented on specific cases in order to understand and apply design processes and design methods in design-led business problems/areas.
• Analyze design objects and design phenomena related to customer values as well as business and innovation oriented tasks and/or problem areas.
• Indicate how a model or a possible solution on a problem draws on the presented theories and discuss this solutions practical possibilities and limitations.
Course prerequisites
This course is offered as part of the Minor in Design and Business Strategy. To participate, students should have taken the courses KAN-CCMVV2102U User and design innovation. Also the students shall be enrolled in the courses KAN-CCMV0V4101U Design Strategy and KAN-CCMVV2534U Service Design.
Costing and Design Business:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Written sit-in exam
Individual or group exam Individual exam
Assignment type Written assignment
Duration 4 hours
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) Internal examiner and second internal examiner
Exam period Autumn and Autumn
Aids allowed to bring to the exam Limited aids, see the list below:
  • Written sit-in-exam on CBS' computers
  • Books and compendia brought by the examinee
  • Notes in paper format brought by the examinee
  • USB key to upload your notes before the exam
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
If the number of registered candidates for the make-up examination/re-take examination warrants that it may most appropriately be held as an oral examination, the programme office will inform the students that the make-up examination/re-take examination will be held as an oral examination instead.
Description of the exam procedure

PC exam on CBS computers.

Course content and structure

The purpose of the course ’Costing and Design Business’ is to address skills to students with interest of design and innovation in business regarding the costing and management accounting side of the companies design activities and processes.


Though design oriented and – led companies have a major focus on ex. design processes, the functionality of different design alternatives, marketing competitiveness of design elements, often these companies have a lack of focus on the costing side of these design activities, projects and processes. For the survival of these companies it is crucial that employees are able to connect the design side of the company with the costing and management accounting side processes of product design/development as well as the production and price calculation processes.


In this course the students are intended to acquire specific knowledge on how companies use costing and accounting information for decision-making and control. The accounting information is used ex. to allocate costs to products and projects, to inform and calculate on prices, to estimate profit and utility in departments and at the same time the companies have to deal with organizational matters like who has the decision rights regarding making optimal decisions on behalf of the company.


Also, it is crucial in this course to give the students an understanding of the evolution of design, e.g. from signs to objects to systems, in order for them to be able to comprehend design on different content levels in the business (e.g. product design versus strategic design). The students will acquire ‘designerly’ knowledge about design ability: understanding and thinking about what designers do. There will be a focus on design processes and methods used in order to solve design problems in various business contexts; how design can be used to differentiate, transform, and contribute to business results. In addition, there will be an emphasis on ‘wicked problems’ and the inherent contradictions between the balance of business and ‘art’, intuition and logic, control and creativity. Further, aesthetic dimensions of design, especially in the context of the so-called Soft Innovation, that is, changes in products and processes of an aesthetic or intellectual nature, are presented and discussed. Together with academic disciplines for analyzing design content and objects, e.g. design semantics, the students will encounter various theories of value in order to be better equipped when assessing design from different perspectives.


Finally, the intention is to integrate issues like the specific planning and organization of companies, calculation practices and performance measures with design activities and processes to help understand how companies can cope with strategic decision making on design issues and the practical and operational implementation of these strategic, design decisions in financial dimensions; budgeting and the choice of transfer price practices in firms are concrete examples on this.


Subjects and central issues in the course:

  • Introduction of management accounting as a way of organizing companies regarding how to deal with costs, the allocation of costs to products and projects and regarding who has decision rights on how to deal with costs.
  • The subjective value theory, use-value versus exchange-value, value as experience. Psychological, economical and sociological perspectives of value.
  • Introduction to the expanded concept of design as well as the evolution of the designer.
  • The term Design Thinking.
  • The distinction between management accounting for decision making and control purposes.
  • Product design and innovation, research methods, making and testing ideas, manufacturing processes. Product design and its relation to globalization, technology, and the media.
  • The coordinating and motivating implications of management accounting.
  • The function and design choice of transfer prices.
  • Responsibility accounting; how to design departments; how to decentralize the allocation of decision rights and how to measure the performance of the units.
  • Design process, from the linear to the modular and situated. Idea generation, decision-making, balance.
  • Wicked problems and Integrative thinking, how to face different opposing ideas, reliability versus validity.
  • Aesthetics and design, aesthesis, aesthetics and aestheticization.
  • Costing and pricing calculations; when to use what kind of calculation.
  • Allocation of costs to customers, products, projects, departments, processes, activities etc.
Teaching methods
To provide the students with the multi-disciplinary knowledge needed to formulate and execute costing and management accounting choices for design-led companies, this course comprises lectures from CBS and KADK faculty in equal measure.

It is important to highlight that the course has two independent tracks covering design and costing. The interaction between the two tracks will appear during the following three courses in the minor and the progression that takes place on and between the courses.

The lectures vil be carried through in dialogue with the students. The dialogues and the presentation of syllabus will focus on the combination of theori, cases and excersices. Because of this format class attendance and participation is essential.
Student workload
Lectures 33 hours
Preparation for lectures 129 hours
Preparation for exam 40 hours
Exam 4 hours
Expected literature


  • Berhausen, N. & Thrane, S. (corresponding author): Control and Coordination of Design Driven Innovation Processes: Case Evidence from the Automotive Industry (Working paper/work in process, Dep. of Operations Management, Copenhagen Business School).
  • Bisgaard, Ulrik & Friberg, Carsten (2006). Indledning. In: Bisgaard, Ulrik & Friberg, Carsten (red.). Det æstetiske aktualitet. København: Multivers. (pp 9-29).
  • Buchanan, Richard (1995). Rhetoric, Humanism, and Design. In Buchanan, R. and Margolin, V. (eds) Discovering Design: Explorations in design studies. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. (pp. 23-66).
  • Buchanan, R. (1995): Wicked Problems in Design Thinking. (pp 2-32).
  • Cross, Nigel (2011): Design Thinking: Understanding How Designers Think and Work. Oxford: Berg. (pp 2-32).
  • Dorst, Kees (2006). Design Problems and Design Paradoxes. In Design Issues, vol. 22, no. 3. (pp 4-17).
  • Hall, Stuart (1980). Encoding/Decoding. In: Hall, Stuart et al (Ed.). Culture, Media. Language. London: Hutchinson. (pp128-138).
  • Heskett, John (2003). Toothpicks & Logos: Design in Everyday Life. Oxford: Oxford University Press. (pp. 2-11). Zimmerman, J: Accounting for Decision Making and Control. 8th. ed. McGraw Hill. Chap. 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9 & 11.
  • Holbrook, Morris B. (1999). Introduction to consumer value. In Holbrook, Morris B. (ed) Consumer value: A framework for analysis and research. London: Routledge (pp 1 - 28).
  • Krippendorff, Klaus (1995). On the essential Contexts of Artifacts or on the Proposition That  ”Design is Making Sense (of Things)”. In: Buchanan, Richard & Margolin, Victor. (Ed.). The idea of Design. London: MIT Press. (pp 156-184).
  • Lawson (2006). How designers think: The design process demystified (4th edition.), Oxford: Architectual Press. (pp 3 – 110).
  • Menger, Carl (1976). Principles of economics. Auburn, AL: Institute for Humane Studies; Chapter III The theory of value (pp 114 - 148) and Chapter VI Use Value and Exchange Value (pp 226 - 235).
  • Milton, Alex and Rodgers, Paul (2013). Research Methods for Product Design. Laurence King. Chap. 2.
  • Ouden, Elke den (2012). Value from Different Perspectives. In Innovation Design: Creating Value (pp 21-60).
  • Parsons, Tim (2009). Thinking: Objects - Contemporary Approaches to Product Design. AVA Publishing. Chap 2.
  • Rittel, Horst Willhelm Jakob, & Webber, Melvin M. (1973). Dilemmas in a general theory of planning. Policy Sciences, 4(2), 155-169.
  • Stoneman, P. (2010) Soft Innovation: Economics, Product Aesthetics, and the Creative Industries. Oxford: Oxford University Press.  (pp 1-20).
  • Trott, Paul (2011). Innovation Management and New Product Development. 5th edition. Financial Times/ Prentice Hall. Chap. 12.
  • Zimmerman, J.: Accounting for Decision Making and Control (2014), 8th. ed. McGrawHill.
Last updated on 04-07-2016