The purpose of this paper is to reflect on the life of Tony Lowe, Emeritus Professor of Accounting and Financial Management at the University of Sheffield, who died on 5 March 2014. It celebrates Tony Lowe’s considerable direct contributions to accounting knowledge and, possibly more significantly, his indirect contribution through his enabling of a range of those associated with him at Sheffield to become scholars of distinction in their own right.
Publication review, personal reflections and argument.
Apart from providing insight into Tony Lowe's direct contribution to accounting knowledge through an analysis of a range of significant sole authored and joint authored publications, the paper gives rather more attention to his more indirect enabling contribution. In this regard it traces the development of initially the Management Control Association and subsequently the “Sheffield School” to Tony Lowe, clarifying the values that underlie these groups. It also clarifies how some of the key elements that have allowed the now global Interdisciplinary and Critical Perspectives on Accounting (ICPA) Project to exist and flourish are traceable to Tony Lowe and the “Sheffield School” he created.
This paper provides an important historical analysis of the direct and indirect influence of a unique scholar on the beginnings and development of particularly the now global ICPA Project. This history is personal and maybe selective and possibly limited because of this but hopefully will encourage others to investigate the claims further.
The history of the ICPA Project has only partially been told before. This is another part of this history that has not been analysed before on which further work can build.
Reflective obituaries, like the one that follows, are invariably personal and inevitably selective in covering the contributions of complex scholars. However, the author would like to thank Jane Broadbent and David Cooper for their helpful, detailed and thoughtful comments on a previous draft. David Cooper has also written a reflective obituary for Critical Perspectives on Accounting (CPA) (Cooper, forthcoming). Cooper and the author each worked on contributions completely independently and only commented on the other's piece when both were almost finished. Further insights about Tony Lowe can be found in a reflective obituary to be published in the British Accounting Review. The author would also like to thank James Guthrie and Lee Parker, editors of the Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, for their comments. However, the following, with all its selectivity and omissions, is entirely the author's responsibility.
Laughlin, R. (2014), "Tony Lowe and the Interdisciplinary and Critical Perspectives on Accounting Project: Reflections on the contributions of a unique scholar", Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Vol. 27 No. 5, pp. 766-777. https://doi.org/10.1108/AAAJ-04-2014-1672Download as .RIS
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited