Musings on Accounting Research by Steve

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The democratic cycle at the AAA

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Many of us are members of the American Accounting Association and normally we also belong to one or two or three of its sections.  When I joined the AAA almost 30 years ago now, the sections were the only places where democratic elections took place.  Indeed, many of the sections prided themselves that unlike the AAA they featured regular accountability sessions and actual choices for members for filling the senior section offices.

Fast forward 30 years, now all the national AAA offices normally have elections associated with them, something that AAA officers in the 1990’s said was impossible to have occur.  But at the section level we are now in the period of the one office one candidate world, where elections are a rarity.  Indeed, many sections no longer have real business meetings but combine them with lunch or cocktails so that little or no direct accountability to members can take place.  The excuse given is that only a minority of members come to these accountability sessions, therefor why bother????  Well only a minority of members of elected assemblies around the world attend the vast majority of meetings of those bodies, but does that mean we get rid of elected bodies altogether????

Anyhow, that’s a bit of a rant that I have put off writing for a long time.


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