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Article
Publication date: 15 June 2020

Brendan Thomas O'Connell, Paul De Lange, Ann Martin-Sardesai and Gloria Agyemang

The purpose of this paper is to examine prominent issues and knowledge contributions from research exploring measurement and assessment of accounting research, impact and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine prominent issues and knowledge contributions from research exploring measurement and assessment of accounting research, impact and engagement. This paper also provides an overview of the other papers presented in this AAAJ Special Issue and draws from their findings to scope out future impactful research opportunities in this area.

Design/methodology/approach

Consists of a review and examination of the prior literature and the other papers published in this AAAJ Special Issue.

Findings

The paper identifies and summarises three key research themes in the extant literature: research productivity of accounting academics; the rise of the “Corporate University” and commodification of research; and, the benefits and limitations of Research Assessment Exercises. It draws upon work within these research themes to set out four broad areas for future impactful research.

Research limitations/implications

The value of this paper rests with collating and synthesising several important research themes on the nature and impact of measurement and assessment of accounting research, impact and engagement, and in prompting future extensions of this work through setting out areas for further innovative research in the area.

Practical implications

The research examined in this paper and the future research avenues proposed are highly relevant to university academics, administrators and regulators/policymakers. They also offer important insights into matters of accounting measurement, accountability, and control more generally.

Originality/value

This paper adds to vibrant existing streams of research in the area by bringing together authors from different areas of accounting research for this AAAJ Special Issue. In scoping out an agenda for impactful research in the nature and impact of measurement and assessment of accounting research, impact and engagement, this paper also draws attention to underexplored issues pertaining to areas such as the “lived experience” of academics in the corporatised university and envisioning what a future “optimal” system of measurement and assessment of research quality might look like?

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 33 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 16 March 2022

Brendan O'Connell, Meredith Tharapos, Paul De Lange and Nicola Beatson

The purpose of this study is to provide a polemic on the evolution of universities and business schools over the past two decades. During this period, universities have…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to provide a polemic on the evolution of universities and business schools over the past two decades. During this period, universities have increasingly adopted a self-interested stance using business-like practices and behaviours to justify their transformation. The authors provide recommendations aimed at enhancing universities’ contributions and relevance to society, increasing their sustainability broadly defined and better positioning them to help solve wicked problems in a post-COVID-19 world.

Design/methodology/approach

This polemic analyses prior literature relating to the evolution of universities and uses this to generate a framework for ways forward for their improvement.

Findings

The authors argue that the evolution of universities into entities with missions and operations designed to mimic business and commercial imperatives has yielded undesirable outcomes including the muddling of the core mission of universities, alienation of key stakeholders and an excessive focus on income growth. Business schools face a tension between forging their own, unique identities and simultaneously striving to meet university university objectives. We term this “the Business School identity paradox”. The authors contend that the way forward requires senior management to re-discover the essence of what it means to be a university, re-establish collegial decision-making within universities that includes built-in feedback loops and a fundamental emphasis on developing graduates with an enlightened perspective that goes beyond technical skills.

Originality/value

This paper is novel in that it analyses the evolution of the “Enterprise University” some 20 years after this term was first coined and in a radically changed environment following the COVID-19 pandemic. This analysis is also forward-looking as the authors re-imagine universities and business schools by identifying opportunities for renewal and improvement in their focus and societal impact. The authors also develop a schema that identifies major influences on universities and business schools, the impact of COVID-19 and strategies for them post-COVID-19.

Details

Meditari Accountancy Research, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2049-372X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 15 June 2021

Nicola Beatson, Paul de Lange, Brendan O'Connell, Meredith Tharapos and Jeffrey K. Smith

The purpose of this paper is to consider what factors influence the ability of academic staff to remain motivated and to persist in their work environment during the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to consider what factors influence the ability of academic staff to remain motivated and to persist in their work environment during the COVID-19 pandemic. Tinto’s (2017) model of student motivation and persistence is reconceptualised to apply to the academic staff by considering their self-efficacy beliefs, sense of belonging and perceptions of career relevance on their motivation levels and adaption to a new environment.

Design/methodology/approach

Utilising Tinto’s (2017) reconceptualised model for academics, this study provides insights into motivation and capacity to adapt during the COVID-19 pandemic. This paper presents observations and reflections from five academics from three universities across two countries in relation to self-efficacy, sense of belonging and perception of career relevance.

Findings

The findings of this study state that self-efficacy beliefs, a sense of belonging and perceptions of career relevance combine to drive both academics’ motivation levels and their ability to adapt to the changing landscape. Self-efficacy was influenced by factors such as struggles with adaptation to new online technologies and researching and teaching in a virtual environment. Academics’ sense of belonging was found to be challenged in unprecedented ways because of physical isolation and sometimes unfavourable home working environments. Perceptions of career relevance were found to be challenged by adverse developments such as reduced promotional opportunities, cuts in resourcing and job insecurity.

Originality/value

This paper makes three important contributions. First, Tinto’s (2017) model of student motivation and persistence is extended to examine academic motivation, adaption and persistence. Second, the model is applied to a crisis where staff face greater strain in maintaining connection to their colleagues and their university. Third, the influence of the COVID-19 crisis is examined by using the reconceptualised Tinto (2017) model in the context of accounting, as accounting international student enrolments and associated revenue streams have been impacted significantly more than those of many other disciplines.

Details

Accounting Research Journal, vol. 34 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1030-9616

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 20 August 2020

Lan Anh Nguyen, Gillian Vesty, Michael Kend, Quan Nguyen and Brendan O'Connell

The purpose of this paper is to understand the institutionally driven changes impacting organizational accounting manipulation in Vietnam’s emerging transitional economy…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to understand the institutionally driven changes impacting organizational accounting manipulation in Vietnam’s emerging transitional economy. Specifically, this study explore how Vietnamese accountants and regulators explain questionable accounting transactions and their rationalization for those practices, especially during the period of accounting system transition from Vietnamese accounting standards to International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).

Design/methodology/approach

The study uses interview-based methods involving 22 Vietnamese accountants, financial managers, audit partners and regulators.

Findings

This study have found dysfunctional approaches to revenue and expense recognition underpinned by institutional theory. At play is a combination of opportunities relating to weak accounting standards and organizational controls; management pressure; and a desire to avoid unwanted scrutiny from Vietnamese regulators.

Research limitations/implications

This study does not include the views of non-financial managers or other accounting users. Future research could focus more on the perceptions of these other stakeholder groups.

Practical implications

Accounting manipulation can be collusive, therefore, regulators should have a stricter view and broader examination in the monitoring process.

Originality/value

This study examine accounting manipulation through the lens of New Institutional Sociology and also share the views of the accountants and regulators. This study argue that weak accounting standards are not the only factors contributing to accounting manipulation. When evaluating the existence of accounting manipulation, this paper find a combination of factors including: opportunities for manipulation, pressure from management and the rationale behind the conduct. These factors should be interpreted in context.

Details

Pacific Accounting Review, vol. 32 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0114-0582

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 10 February 2021

Lan Anh Nguyen, Brendan O'Connell, Michael Kend, Van Anh Thi Pham and Gillian Vesty

The study explores accountants' views of the likelihood of widespread accounting manipulation in the emerging economy, Vietnam. Applying the fraud triangle framework, we…

Abstract

Purpose

The study explores accountants' views of the likelihood of widespread accounting manipulation in the emerging economy, Vietnam. Applying the fraud triangle framework, we examine accountants' responses to management pressure, manipulation opportunities and perceptions of how they rationalize their decisions.

Design/methodology/approach

The study uses an experimental methodology involving 592 Vietnamese accountants as participants. Post-experiment field interviews were conducted with eight highly experienced accountants.

Findings

Our findings indicate that accounting manipulation is perceived to be common in Vietnam. The findings reveal that there is no differentiation between manipulation of accounting transactions with or without management pressure and no differentiation between collective gain or individual gain.

Research limitations/implications

While the study focused on accountants' perceptions of accounting manipulation, these views may change over time. The impact of law reforms and the potential for prosecution under the force of law provisions could alter these perceptions.

Practical implications

The study findings alert regulators, government authorities and auditors of the perceptions and views in relation to accounting manipulation and the potential for fraud in Vietnam. Auditors could use help from forensic specialists to uncover unethical behaviors identified in this study.

Originality/value

The fraud triangle framework is used to shed light on fraud through the examination of accounting manipulation in Vietnam. We contribute to the relevant accounting literature with insights into accountants' motivations toward conducting questionable accounting transactions. The contributions we make draw attention to preconceptions of Asian societies; in particular, accounting actions to motivate collectivist gains. While we shed further light on fraudulent accounting, we conclude that the fraud triangle framework does not necessarily articulate fraud well in relation to accounting manipulation in emerging economies.

Details

Journal of Accounting in Emerging Economies, vol. 11 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-1168

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 4 June 2020

Brendan T. O'Connell, Paul De Lange, Greg Stoner and Alan Sangster

The overall aim of this paper was to examine the impact of the Australian research assessment exercise on the research approaches (positivist/non-positivist) favoured by…

Abstract

Purpose

The overall aim of this paper was to examine the impact of the Australian research assessment exercise on the research approaches (positivist/non-positivist) favoured by accounting disciplines in Australia. Our key research question examined how the outputs and foci of research in elite accounting disciplines changed over a 16-year period. Our analysis was informed by Bourdieu's notions of academic elitism and symbolic violence.

Design/methodology/approach

We analysed all papers published in 20 major accounting journals across a 16-year period by Australian accounting disciplines that were highly rated in the research assessment exercise. We also compared our results from this group against two case study accounting disciplines that were not rated as “world class”.

Findings

Our key finding is that the introduction of a research assessment exercise in Australia has resulted in research outputs of elite accounting disciplines over this period being increasingly focused on positivist rather than non-positivist research. Our findings evidence a narrowing of accounting disciplines' research agendas and foci across the period.

Research limitations/implications

Our findings highlight a considerable narrowing of the research agenda and paradigms in accounting disciplines that is not in the public interest. Our findings also have implications for the literature on academic elitism. The narrowing of the research agenda and greater foci on positivist research exhibited in our findings demonstrates the role of dominant elites in controlling the research agenda through a research assessment exercise.

Practical implications

A practical implication is that proper research, regardless of the approach used, must be appropriately recognised and accepted by Accounting Disciplines, not ostracised or discouraged. Research implications are the breadth of accounting research should be celebrated and concentration eschewed. Australian accounting discipline leaders should not fall for the illusion that the only good research is that which is published in a small number of North American positivist journals.

Originality/value

Our findings provide insights into Bourdieu's work through demonstrating how dominant players have successfully exploited an external regulatory mechanism, a research assessment exercise, to strengthen their position within a field and exert control over the research agendas of accounting disciplines. Previous work by Bourdieu has not directly examined how actors utilise these outside forces as instruments for shaping their own field.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 33 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 10 October 2021

Hang Ngoc My Le, Brendan Thomas O’Connell and Maryam Safari

Drawing from Upper-Echelons Theory (UET), this paper aims to examine whether an increasing number of board members studying and working overseas, especially in Anglo…

Abstract

Purpose

Drawing from Upper-Echelons Theory (UET), this paper aims to examine whether an increasing number of board members studying and working overseas, especially in Anglo countries, provides some impetus for increased corporate environmental disclosures (CED) in Vietnam.

Design/methodology/approach

This study used quantitative data collection and analysis. The data collection involved a content analysis of annual, sustainability and integrated reports to capture the quality and quantity of CED. The authors subsequently developed ordered probit models to quantitatively test the hypotheses.

Findings

The authors find that board members studying in Anglo countries positively impact firms’ levels of CED in emerging economies. However, overseas work experience is found to be an insignificant explanatory variable. Further, the findings suggest that, in Vietnam, Chairs appear to be more influential than chief executive officers in affecting CED levels.

Practical implications

Despite the positive influence of overseas study, the authors find overall levels of CED in Vietnam remain relatively low. This suggests the necessity of dialogue about potential reform in CED policies, which could involve the introduction of mandatory reporting requirements. In addition, to enhance sustainability disclosures, shareholders should appoint board members who possess international qualifications.

Originality/value

This study adds to the literature exploring the impacts of Anglo cultural traits of board members on CED levels, within an economy transitioning from a communist ideology to a market-oriented system context. The connection between international study and cultural norms, beliefs and traditions in these countries and their positive influence on directors’ values and attitudes towards CED have not yet been studied. The study also extends UET by examining the potential positive influence of different national contexts on board members’ education levels.

Article
Publication date: 5 September 2016

Rindang Widuri, Brendan O’Connell and Prem W.S. Yapa

This paper aims to identify key factors driving auditors’ adoption of Generalized Audit Software (GAS) in a large developing country, Indonesia, through the lens of the…

1885

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to identify key factors driving auditors’ adoption of Generalized Audit Software (GAS) in a large developing country, Indonesia, through the lens of the technology, organization and environment (TOE) framework.

Design/methodology/approach

Results of this study are based on semi-structured in-depth interviews conducted in Indonesia with audit firms of varying sizes.

Findings

Key study findings included the identification of highly influential adoption factors, especially environmental factors, such as availability of information technology-skilled auditors in the local market, client needs and expectations and client size. This study has also identified factors, not identified in previous research, as being influential including the importance of GAS availability in a range of languages and the necessity of a supportive professional and regulatory environment.

Originality/value

This study makes several contributions to the literature including that it identifies new influential factors in the TOE framework. This framework has not been widely applied in auditing research and looks beyond the individual perspective to that of the organization as a whole. Moreover, the present study takes a developing country perspective and examines a range of audit firms. In contrast, most studies to date in the area have taken a Western focus and have concentrated on large audit firms. Additionally, this study provides an in-depth analysis through the use of semi-structured interviews, whereas prior studies have relied on surveys.

Details

Managerial Auditing Journal, vol. 31 no. 8/9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-6902

Keywords

Abstract

Details

Advances in Accounting Education Teaching and Curriculum Innovations
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76230-758-6

Article
Publication date: 11 September 2009

Richard Lane and Brendan T. O'Connell

This paper builds on the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations (COSO) Report, which examined US Accounting and Auditing Enforcement Releases (AAERs). The purpose of this…

3549

Abstract

Purpose

This paper builds on the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations (COSO) Report, which examined US Accounting and Auditing Enforcement Releases (AAERs). The purpose of this paper is to provide valuable insights into the characteristics and realities of financial statement fraud in the post‐Enron regulatory environment.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper analyses a sample of AAERs from 2002 to 2005. It also provides case studies of an additional five high‐profile case studies from that period.

Findings

This paper finds evidence of changes in Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) enforcement activities since the COSO Report. Specifically, it is found that enforcement activities have increased substantially post‐Enron and the companies subject to AAERs are, on average, much larger, more profitable and the frauds are more substantial than those exhibited in the COSO Report. These findings suggest that the SEC has become more aggressive at pursuing larger companies for financial statement fraud in the post‐Enron environment.

Research limitations/implications

This paper relies on AAERs as the source of analysis of financial statement fraud, its findings must be viewed in light of the limitations of using these documents. Specifically, the prevailing prosecutions agenda of the US SEC may be reflected in these results.

Practical implications

The study findings are of great practical relevance to accounting regulators and practitioners as they provide valuable insights into the nature and characteristics of financial statement fraud.

Originality/value

The paper provides empirical evidence concerning the changing face of financial statement fraud enforcement and provides a more in‐depth comparison of fraud than possible with most previous studies that have tended to focus on quantitative measures. This is possible because the present investigation utilises qualitative data from AAERs to supplement quantitative findings. Its originality is also due to the use of institutional theory which is not commonly applied in the corporate governance field.

Details

Accounting Research Journal, vol. 22 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1030-9616

Keywords

1 – 10 of 31