ACCT 714-Seminar in Research Methodology in Accounting (3 Crs.)


The primary purpose of this seminar is to prepare doctoral candidates to conduct research in the organizational and behavioral sciences. The emphasis of this course is on exploring: (a) the logic of research designs, (b) different types of research methodologies, and (c) the advantages and disadvantages of using different research methods. Special attention will be paid to the topics of construct development and validation, how to control for method biases, and the identification of the necessary conditions for establishing causal relationships. Although the discussion of various analytical procedures will be unavoidable, the major focus of the seminar will be on methodological (as opposed) to analytical issues.

The course objectives are to help generate research ideas and provide experience in conducting empirical research, to provide a rigorous analysis of the major areas of empirical research in accounting not covered in previous seminars, and to provide experience in the critical evaluation of empirical studies. The primary module of this course is positive accounting theory.  This theory seeks to explain accounting practices and can be useful in assessing the consequences of accounting choices and accounting regulation. We will examine studies of managers' incentives to choose specific accounting techniques in regulatory and contractual settings, managers' incentives to exercise discretion over accounting accruals, the impact of corporate governance on managers' behavior, and managers' incentives to lobby for or against changes in accounting regulation. Smaller modules will deal with analytical research, tax research, compensation research, earnings quality, voluntary disclosure, auditing, restatements, institutional investors, mergers, and litigation.