Musings on Accounting Research by Steve

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Management Accounting Journals – an indecent proposal


As I said in my last post, I was somewhat shocked at the disproportionate lack of impact JMAR has had on management accounting research compared to the impact of AJPT and JATA on their respective domains.  Furthermore, I asserted that this likely hurts the tenure and promotion chances of management accounting scholars in addition to making important research less visible to a broader audience.

There is another niche management accounting journal that seeks the exact same market spot as JMAR – that is Management Accounting Research or MAR.  MAR has evolved over the years to be a very distinct knowledge product from JMAR in a wonderfully complementary way.  Nonetheless despite very good citation rates for accounting journals, it is a rare study that finds MAR included among the top accounting journals whereas JMAR at least has name recognition.  Further, MAR has multiple issues a year whereas JMAR is still struggling to get away from the single issue a year mode – albeit the current editor is devoting a considerable amount of political capital to ensuring that this latter change happens.

When you combine the strong citations of MAR and its somewhat distinct clientele with the North American name recognition of JMAR it is obvious to me what needs to be done –  a marriage of equals!!!!!  (for financial accountants – a pooling of interests)!

The advantages are clear to me:

  • the move to multiple issues is done!
  • management accounting has a niche journal that can compete with AJPT and JATA!
  • North American and ROW management accounting researchers will have their research more visible to each other!
  • higher citation rates and impact factors for Deans (not that I care but many real world people do)!

But the suggestion was immediately dismissed by many observers.  Likely the same ones who claim that management accounting does not have its proper status in the business school, loses out to financial accounting in both research and teaching etc etc etc.  The same set of lame excuses that have held JMAR back for two generations.

Whether it is this idea or another, the topics associated with management accounting need to be researched and understood.  We need to reduce the institutional impediments to exposing that research to the world.

So my challenge to management accountants is this – if you do not like my prescription – come up with your own and push it hard.  After all, 25 years from now do management accounting researchers want to be in the same position, especially in the English speaking countries, that they are in today?????


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