Musings on Accounting Research by Steve

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Monthly Archives: April 2015

Why should we be interested in research from country X?

one of the frequent comments I hear from European faculty and doctoral students about American based journals  (and occasionally about CAR) is getting reviews that state something like this “why should we be interested in beligian or Dutch or Swedish companies/audit firms/auditors/management accountants . . . . . .”.??

 It is hard to believe that in this day and age of globalization there are still educated Americans who think the only thing that matters is US data!  Sure the U.S media makes it appear that the USA is all that matters in the news – whether it be politics, economic or entertainment and that cannot help but wear off on Americans who do not travel much outside their own state let alone there own country!  But really, among educated accounting faculty especially those considered competent enough to review for top journals!???

If we truly believe that theory matters and that generalization is based on theory, cannot all research that is competently done help in this respect?  Or are many American positivist are really just interpretivist in disguise believing that everything is local and its meaning subjectively interpreted and time bound!  

I urge journal editors to apologize to authors when they send out reviews with such comments in them to show that at least the American editors understand that without foundation with such statements are ignorant and maybe even provoke the reviewer who said it to do some reflection!

EAA Glasgow

well I have made it to Glasgow after a short trip to Scotland’s capital!  It is a little known fact that this Canadian is one half Scottish on me mom’s side so I feel right at home here!

It will be interesting to get a sense of where European accounting research is 20 years after my first visit when the meeting was held in Birmingham !  One thing for certain is that much has changed!  

However One thing that bothers me is that without discusants on the vast majority of papers, young scholars get very little feedback from presenting here!  Why?  The review system is designed to separate the wheat from the chafe by having a relatively centralized scientific committee where each member I am told evaluates 30 to 50 papers!  

That by necessity results in little feedback besides the four fold classification of paper with discussant, presentation with question time, presentation in a set of five papers or research forum!  While this system has the advantage of maximizing participation it minimizes feedback received!  For at most conferences the only hope for feedback for the submitter comes from when the discussant is a more senior faculty member who works in the area or a better trained junior faculty member or advanced PHD student!  

Perhaps the EAA should have special sessions where European junior faculty and doctoral students get feedback from senior faculty!  In any case I urge the EAA to take some concert steps to find a way to turn the Conference into a better learning and development opportunity for young European scholars – just a thought!

In Europe again

i am visiting yet another new part of the world for me – Amsterdam in the Netherlands!  While technically speaking I have been in the country before it was at an ISAR (International AUdit Research Sympoisium) which had as many Anglo Saxons at it as many smaller Noth American audit conferences have .  Hence, my first real taste of the Netherlands and the Dutch in their natural environment!

My impressions are extremely positive with excellent attendance and engagement at both the paper workshop and the craft workshop!  The later was especially fun as students from three Dutch universities as well as two prospective students attended!  I only hope the no holds barred look at the craft realities did not deter the young folks!

Learning tacit knowledge ( if it can be taught at all) takes more than one workshop by an outsider but at the same time just hoping students will ” get it ” by observing you as a faculty member is not enough in this day and age.  We need to do all we can to help our younger colleagues in training move down the learning curve as fast as possible!

Finally I cannot resist a bad pun.  It appears the colour  theme of my sabbatical has been clearly orange!  First in the orange capital of North America – Florida – and then in the home of the House of Orange – the Kingdom of the Netherlands!

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