Musings on Accounting Research by Steve

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Monthly Archives: April 2019

Highlighting the editors!

In the last 25 years or so journals in accounting have undergone a huge shift in how they are edited. In 1993, the Editor was just that, THE Editor. He or she may have had a couple of Associate Editors but on the whole it was THE Editor’s show.

While there was some early movements at TAR, JAR, JAE and AOS, it was Mike Gibbins who in 1993 decided to appoint Associate Editors at CAR with FULL decision rights. It was quite revolutionary. The Associate Editor chose reviewers, made accept/reject/revise decisions, and made the defacto final acceptance/rejection decisions. At first no one really believed THE Editor was becoming the Editor. Today such decentralized decision making is more the norm!

This occurred for both academic and practical reasons. The academic reasons were the increasingly specialized nature of the accounting field where even the most dedicated Editor could not grasp, even at a very high level, the substantive differences in paper quality across accounting areas. The practical reason is volume of scholarly production. Major journals are moving well into the 500 papers and beyond being submitted annually. Top niche journals are now experiencing volumes of papers that a decade ago would be experienced at the top journals.

So the role of THE Editor has changed. Now the Editor (Senior, in-chief) manages a team, sets a tone, promotes the journal and, in some cases, reads carefully final page proofs! What a difference 25 years make!

Learning to admit you are wrong

Last post shared research from Julian Barling on how to apologize effectively.

Just as there are steps to make an apology meaningful there are things to avoid doing if you want you apology to succeed. As Julian discovered the following are things to avoid if you want to give an effective apology.

A. Do not ramble. Be specific.

B. Do not put conditions on it. “If I offended anyone .. ” is not the start of a sincere apology,

C. Do not attempt to make explain or make excuses for why the bad behaviour occurred in the first place.

D. Do not ask for forgiveness, that is up to the person you are apologizing to offer. Asking makes it all about you, not them!

E. Do not apologize if you do not mean it and intend to keep the commitment you made as part of the apology.

While senior academics suffer from this problem as well, especially those that achieved much success early and relatively easily in their careers, it seems to be harder for junior faculty and doctoral students to admit they are wrong or that they hurt someone by their actions or inaction.

Learning to admit you are wrong

Due to my nature I have a lot of experience with saying “I am sorry, I was wrong.”

This is a skill that junior faculty and doctoral students need to develop if they are ever to become senior faculty.

My colleague at Queen’s, Julian Barling ( one of the leading OB researchers in the world) spent a lot of time a few years ago studying meaningful and effective apologies. Some of the things he learned that made an apology effective were:

1. Be specific about what exactly you are apologizing for. say you are sorry and mean it.

2. Take personal responsibility for your actions.

3. Admit that people were hurt by your actions including the person you are apologizing to.

4. Explain the steps you have taken to ensure you will not make the same mistake again.

5. Be clear as to what you are going to do to restore things to the fullest extent you can and then do them!

Next post, things that you do not due when attempting to make an apology.

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