Musings on Accounting Research by Steve

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Reflections on travelling for research

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It was about this time of year in 2005 when I started to travel beyond the bounds of North America ( I remember it well because Monday was celebrated as the Queen’s Birthday in Australia ( except in the state of Queensland – go figure) and that is the day I arrived in Sydney in ’05).

I was a true non- international traveller! I substituted by bringing the world to Kingston. Australians, Brits, Germans, Singaporeans, Koreans, Chinese, and French were all welcomed to Kingston.

However, as I got into my true international travel phase, just a decade ago, I realized that there was much to learn by visiting folks in situ. Seeing how they interacted with their colleagues, the resource base of the institution, the nature of their domestic doctoral students all provided me with insights. Often I was able to meet with auditors and regulators on those trips and these enriched my understanding further. These are insights that I would not have gleaned in Kingston or by going only for academic conferences then on vacation.

So I urge scholars, especially younger ones, to NOT do as I did and stay inside the local academic cocoon, especially the American one. Get out and see the world and the variety of scholarship in it. Move outside “your comfort zone.” I regret only having done it late in my career, but it has enriched my understanding of ” the language of business”. It is never to late!


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