Musings on Accounting Research by Steve

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AOS and economics based research


Let’s remember that the title of AOS is “Accounting, Organizations and Society” when we discuss the broadening of AOS to include more economics based research.  As the last fifty years have shown, at the society level markets are very much present and indeed taking a more dominant role giving the retreat of government in the age of globalization.  It has always been a bit of a puzzle to me as to why a journal interested in the role of organizations and society would basically preclude the role of markets (except to critique them) from its research base.

Certainly I am not advocating wholesale change in emphasis at AOS.  We need a journal that presents the best in alternative to markets oriented perspectives on the accounting world.  But economics is more than the very narrow financial economics that is featured at the Journal of Accounting & Economics and the like.  AOS should take the lead in promoting a broader economic based perspective on accounting that goes well beyond the narrow financial economics perspective we are currently offered in the American Three journals.

As I said many times when I was CAR EIC, take a look at the major economics journals, even the American ones!  You will see a much broader set of economic theories and methods being represented in the American Economic Review than those that are presented in the so-called economics (really financial economics) based accounting journals.  While AOS by itself may not change doctoral programs in North America’s emphasis on their economic basis, it would be great to see those programs send students to study more than introduction to micro-economics which is often a precursor to a financial economics focused accounting doctoral program.  That would truly allow the accounting phenomena to be studied with a broader lens at the organization and society level than it currently is done by those who seek to present themselves as economics based researchers in accounting.

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