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Article Type: Editorial From: Accounting Research Journal, Volume 27, Issue 2
Welcome to this issue of Accounting Research Journal (ARJ) Volume 27, Issue Number 2.
This is the first issue I have edited and my contribution is limited to the selection of a number of articles drawn from those already accepted, and writing this editorial. After a little more than three months, I am happy to report that the ARJ has had a renewed start under the leadership of Professor Ellie Chapple. It has attracted a lot of interest, and it has been well-received by readers, by authors and by reviewers alike.
Volume 27, Issue 2, consists of five articles that range from capital market research to corporate governance research and to management accounting research. The contributors to this issue include authors based in North American universities to authors in Australasian universities, reflecting the international orientation of the journal.
The first two articles in this issue relate to capital market research. In the article entitled "Firm characteristics, distress risk, and average stock returns", Associate Professor Prodosh Simlai from the University of North Dakota, USA, examines the empirical relationship between firm-level characteristics and the variability of the average portfolio returns of distressed firms. By focusing on NYSE, AMEX and NASDAQ stocks between January 1972 and December 2008, the article shows that the size and value effects are not due to distress risk. The findings in this article help to foster a better understanding of the nature of distressed stocks, and the identification of distress risk premiums.
In his article "Market-to-book ratio and conditional conservatism: Firms' voluntary expensing of employee stock options", Dr Gulraze Wakil, from the Sprott School of Business at Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada, has applied logistic regressions to firms listed in the S&P 1500 index to examine the relationship between firms' decisions to expense employee stock options (ESOs) under the voluntary period of SFAS 123 and their market-to-book (MTB-1) ratio and conditional conservatism. The findings of the article show that during the period when expensing ESOs was voluntary, SFAS 123, the MTB-1 ratio was negatively associated with ESO expense recognition, but conditional conservatism was positively associated with ESO expense recognition. The findings add to the literature on the negative relationship between the MTB-1 ratio and conditional conservatism.
One article in this issue relates to corporate governance. In the article entitled "Impact of firm-specific characteristics on managers' identity disclosure", Dr. Etumudon Ndidi Asien, Federal University, Otuoke, Nigeria, explores the impact of firm-specific characteristics on disclosure of managers' identity by 403 listed firms in the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) countries. The article in particular finds that managers' identity is significantly disclosed by firms that separate the office of chairman from that of chief executive officer. The article provides insights which will influence firms in the GCC region to begin disclosing managers' personal details and other contact information.
One article in this issue has a particular focus on management accounting. In their article "Management Control Systems and Organisational Learning: The Effects of Design and Use", Associate Professor Shu Hui Wee from Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia; Professor Soon Yau Foong from Universiti Putra Malaysia; and Mr Michael S.C. Tse from Deakin University, Australia, examine relationships between the design of management control systems (MCS), and the use of MCS and organisational learning (OL). Based on a combination of questionnaire surveys and follow-up interviews with managing directors of Malaysian companies, the article shows that both the design and use of MCS are significantly associated with levels of OL activities in organisations, and the use of MCS is found to be a more influential factor in OL. This article contributes to the accounting literature by providing empirical evidence on the relative impacts of the design and use of MCS on OL activities in organisations, and the interaction between the design and use of MCS in influencing OL.
The final article accepted relates to fair value. In their article, "The Joint Effects of Management Incentive and Information Precision on Perceived Reliability in Fair Value Estimates", three colleagues from DePaul University, Chicago, USA, Associate Professor Ning Du, Professor John E. McEnroe and Professor Kevin Stevens, examine whether a less precise (or imprecise) fair value estimate may increase investors' confidence and improve investors' perceptions of fair value reliability. By using a 2X3 randomised experiment on MBA students, the article indicates that perceived reliability in fair value estimates is jointly affected by management's incentives and information precision.
Thanks to our contributors who have trusted us with their works.
I would also like to highlight some important news in this editorial. As our Editor Professor Ellie Chapple described in her editorial in Volume 26, Issue 3 (2013), the Journal participated in the journal ranking review exercise conducted by the Australian Business Deans Council (ABDC) during May 2013. The ABDC has already published its ranking and the ARJ is now a B ranked journal. We are enthusiastic about our journal's achievement. I thank Professor Ellie Chapple and Associate Professor Stuart Tooley for their involvement as editors of this journal during the ABDC review period. I extend my sincere thanks to our editorial board, authors, reviewers and other academics affiliated with the Journal.
The ARJ is pleased to announce Emerald's Awards for Excellence 2014 under the following categories:
"Comparison of propensity for carbon disclosure between developing and developed countries: A resource constraint perspective."
Le Luo, Qingliang Tang, Yi-Chen Lan
Volume 26 number 1
"The value of executive director share ownership and discretionary accruals"
Arifur Khan, Paul Mather
Volume 26 number 1.
"Audit quality and overvalued equity"
Robert Houmes, Maggie Foley, Richard J. Cebula
Volume 26 number 1.
"Coincident and forecast relevance of accounting numbers"
Karol Marek Klimczak, Grzegorz Szafranski
Volume 26 number 3.
The decision as to the best contributors was made by the ARJ editorial team and on behalf of the team I am pleased to extend my heartiest congratulations to all of our awardees.
As happened in 2013, in 2014, the ARJ is pleased to sponsor a "best paper" award at the Accounting and Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand (AFAANZ) conference, to be held in Auckland in July 2014. The ARJ will sponsor the prize for the category "Ethics/Tax/Interdisciplinary Research/Accounting Information Systems/Critical Perspectives".
M. Azizul Islam - School of Accountancy, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia