Elaine Harris

Research activity per year

Personal profile


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 was leader of the PhD programme in the Business School from 2016 to 2021 and still leads a research team on strategic investment decision making. Elaine is Associate Editor of the British Accounting Review (BAR) and Chair of the Management Control Association (MCA). She is editor of the Routledge Companion to Performance Management and Control (2018) and one of its 52 authors. She has won both best paper and reviewer awards for Emerald journals and was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award 2020 by the British Accounting & Finance Association (BAFA).

She has over 36 years of experience in higher education, including more than 20 years as a manager as well as an academic. She continues to supervise PhD students and mentor and co-author with academic staff.

Prior to her academic career Elaine worked in accountancy practice as an auditor, accountant, consultant and manager. Her work, especially her action research has impacted on managerial processes in organisations.



Research interests

Elaine's research is focussed upon how managers make sense of risky business propositions in strategic project appraisals, 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 non-financial inputs to SIDM such as 'legacy' motivations and sustainable development goals.

Research projects

Her work on strategic investment decisions continues with case studies including longitudinal cases in a number of sectors.

Elaine has previusly 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) and the ICAEW charitable trust (2016-18). She is the current chair of a research network, the Management Control Association and as honorary professor at Aston Business School, she chairs the annual MARG conference.


Doctoral students currently under Elaine's supervision include

Chiharu Narikiyo - A Crtical Analysis of the Development of an Ethical Stock: How Green is the Green Giant?

Sendem Badam - Management Accounting and Control Systems in a Transitional Economy: The Case of Mongolia

Tingting Song - A Comparative Study on Earnings Management through Loan Loss Provisions of Commercial Banks

Professional affiliations

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 work

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.

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


Strategic Investment Appraisal

Accounting for Decision Making

Management Research Methods


Education/Academic qualification

An Insight into Project Risk Appraisal: a European Field Study, Brunel University London


Award Date: 31 Mar 1999

External positions

Honorary Fellow, University of Hanken

Nov 2021 → …

Honorary Professor, Aston University

Dec 2020Dec 2025

Associate Editor, British Accounting Review

Mar 2016 → …