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Undergraduate courses

Professor Elaine Harris

Professor Elaine Harris

Professor of Accounting and Management

Roehampton University Business School


Elaine has been Professor of Accounting and Management at Roehampton since 2010 and was also the Director of the Business School from 2010 to 2014. She is currently on a sabbatical to focus on her research on strategic investment decision making.

She has almost 30 years of experience in higher education, including more than 20 years as a manager as well as an academic.

Prior to that Elaine worked in accountancy practice as an auditor, accountant, consultant and manager.



Research interests

Elaine's research is focussed upon how managers make sense of risky business propositions and prospective projects, and how they interact with other organisational members and external parties in reaching strategic investment decisions. This research is located within the field of management control and links to strategy implementation and project management. Elaine's work draws on theories from psychology, e.g. cognition, and increasingly from sociology, e.g. structuration. Her aim is to develop practice-based theory on strategic investment decision-making (SIDM) that acknowledges both the psychology of managerial judgement and the social context of decision-making processes. She is currently exploring the influence of different forms of ownership on SIDM.

Research projects undertaken

Elaine has carried out research on risk assessment in project appraisal funded by commercial enterprises such as Christian Salveson PLC (1999-2003) and on managerial judgement by professional bodies such as CIMA (2004-2006). She is the current chair of a research network, the Management Control Association.

Doctoral students currently under Elaine's supervision include

Moataz Al-Massri – investigating how strategic investment decisions (SIDs) are made in an Egyptian context and what internal and external factors influence managers' judgement in such decisions.

Membership of professional bodies

Elaine is a Fellow of ACCA, CIM, CMI, RSA and the HEA

She is also a member of the British Accounting & Finance Association (BAFA) and was chair of the Committee of Departments of Accounting & Finance (CDAF, formerly known as CHA) from 2005 to 2009.

Consultancy experience

Elaine has undertaken consultancy and corporate development projects for a range of clients including Richard Burbidge plc, Peterborough Software plc, Scania (GB) Ltd, ABR Foods Ltd, Bedfordshire County Council, Shoosmiths, FKI plc, NHS London hospitals and EuroPoolSystem International BV as well as professional bodies such as CIMA.

Consultancies undertaken

From accounting information systems and financial applications to education and training and strategic risk management.

Teaching interests

Accounting for Decision Making

Project Risk Management

Integrated Business Case

Current Issues in Accounting Research


Taught courses




MSc Project Management





2011 Rethinking Budgetary Slack as Budget Risk Management, with El- MassriM, Journal of Applied Accounting Research, 12(3), 278-93.

2010 Towards a better understanding of capital investment decisions, with Emmanuel C, and Komakech S, Journal of Accounting and Organizational Change, 6, 4,477 - 504

2009 Emerging Themes in Management Control: A review of recent literature, with Berry T, Coad A, Otley D and Stringer C, British Accounting Review, 41(1), 2-20.

2009 Facilitating Innovation Through Cognitive Mapping, with Woolley R, International Studies of Management and Organization, 39(1), 70-100.

2007 How Managers Construe Risk in Business Acquisitions.' International Journal of Risk Assessment and Management, 7, 8, 1057-1073.

2000 Strategic Investment Decision-Making: Managerial judgement on Project Risk and Return', Journal of Applied Accounting Research, 5 (3), 87-110.

1999 Project Risk Assessment: A European Field Study', British Accounting Review, 31(3), 347-371.

1999 Auditing the cost effectiveness of radon mitigation in the workplace, with  Denman AR, Hermann MR and Phillips P Managerial Auditing Journal, 14, 9, 461- 467.



2009 Strategic Project Risk Appraisal and Management, Farnham: Gower.

2009 Managerial Judgement and Strategic Investment Decisions with Emmanuel C and Komakech S, Oxford: Elsevier.

Book chapters

2011 Capital Investment Appraisal, with El-Massri M in M Abdel-Kader (ed) Review of Management Accounting Research, London: Palgrave.


2014 Feel the Risk: strategic investment decisions in an uncertain world in Management Control and Uncertainty, edited by David Otley and Kim Soin, Palgrave: 162-177.


2011 Project Management, Finance & Management special report SR33, London: ICAEW

2008 Action Research, The Sage Dictionary of Qualitative Management Research, Thorpe, R and Holt, R (eds), London: Sage, pp17-19.

2000 Dealing with Project Risk', Management Quarterly, Part 7, April, pp31-37 (commissioned by ICAEW)

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Department news

Business Professor joins review board of world leading service journal

Professor of Marketing at Roehampton Business School, Sabine Benoit, has been selected to join the editorial review board of the world leading service journal, Journal of Service Research.

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The University of Roehampton is pleased to announce a major new partnership with EU Business School, which will see students across the continent given the chance to study for a UK-accredited degree.

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