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Students as Surrogates for Managers: Evaluating the Conclusions from a Replicated Accounting Experiment

31 Pages Posted: 14 Apr 2012  

Kim Trottier

Simon Fraser University

Irene M. Gordon

Beedie School of Business, Simon Fraser University

Date Written: September 15, 2011

Abstract

The use of students as surrogates for managers in experiments is commonplace, yet the validity of this practice has not been established. This paper contributes to our understanding of the appropriateness of using student samples by replicating a manager-based experiment with students and comparing the outcome. The result is that student responses are significantly different from manager responses, but both samples lead to the same conclusion with respect to the research question in the experiment. This suggests that having some disassociation between students and the target population they are meant to represent does not necessarily have an adverse effect on inference. Student characteristics are then examined to identify subgroups that are most similar to managers. The findings are that students with work experience, average grades, and a background suited to the experiment are the best surrogates for managers.

Keywords: students, surrogates, experiments

JEL Classification: M41

Suggested Citation

Trottier, Kim and Gordon, Irene M., Students as Surrogates for Managers: Evaluating the Conclusions from a Replicated Accounting Experiment (September 15, 2011). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1928139 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1928139

Kim Trottier (Contact Author)

Simon Fraser University ( email )

8888 University Drive
Burnaby, British Columbia V5A 1S6
Canada

HOME PAGE: http://business.sfu.ca/profiles/KimTrottier

Irene M. Gordon

Beedie School of Business, Simon Fraser University ( email )

8888 University Drive
Burnaby, British Colombia V5A 1S6
Canada

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