No I am not talking about the state of mind of the organizers, albeit with the amount of work they have to put into this every third year (just long enough to forget the details from the last time they hosted it) they may well feel that way at the time! No what I am talking about it the virtual absence of archival management accounting research at the conference.
If my memory serves me correctly, a few years ago the unbalancing was on the side of field research – where it was relatively rare to have more than one or two sessions of field work. In the last two GMARS the absence of archival management accounting research has been striking – not even enough papers for one full session.
On the plus side, GMARS is a beacon for diversity in management accounting research with experimental economics, psychology experiments, survey research, and all flavours of field research (positivist and interpretivists with the odd critical paper). Nonetheless, just as a few years ago when I saw the lack of field work a drawback, I am now seeing the lack of archival based economics work as a constraint to the success of what I think of as the best management accounting conference in the world.
(As an aside to a certain Texan, note that my defense of diversity is not based on my preferred methods being better represented but rather on the basis of what is needed to allow for an excellent exchange of ideas across research approaches.)