Rites of Passage and the Self-Immolation of Academic Accounting Labour: An Essay Exploring Exclusivity Versus Mutuality in Accounting Scholarship

30 Pages Posted: 24 Apr 2002

See all articles by Rob Gray

Rob Gray

University of Glasgow - Department of Accounting and Finance

James Guthrie

Macquarie University - Department of Accounting and Finance; University Of Bologna - Department of Management; Macquarie University, Macquarie Business School

Lee D. Parker

RMIT University

Abstract

The changes in public sectors of many western democracies, particularly as applied in public funded universities, have led to an environment where students have been redefined as customers, organisations and their programs have been redefined as fee generating and services have been reconstituted as commercialised competitive activities in the open marketplace. Work in this 'new' Higher Education Sector (HES) environment has been construed as fee generating and cost incurring, subject to financial control and evaluated for its tangible, measured outputs. This paper considers the contemporary attitudes in accounting and management academia to what constitutes research and scholarship, using Australia and the UK as case examples. From this perspective, it is argued that the changing HES environment is transforming and commodifying research into a homogenised, measured and traded commodity. This commodity is then traded in the new academic marketplace in forms such as departmental research rankings, appointability of candidates for professorial positions, departmental and individual academic competitiveness for research grants, and university eligibility for government research funding. In addition, we contend that this commodification is exhibiting a convergent tendency, in that the tradable currency shows signs of reductionism to a common form of measurement, that is, to refereed research journal articles. This paper seeks to further open up discussion and debate on these issues from both academic and general community perspectives and to offer some tentative suggestions about how we, as a community of scholars, might seek to counter this process.

JEL Classification: M40

Suggested Citation

Gray, Rob and Guthrie, James and Parker, Lee D., Rites of Passage and the Self-Immolation of Academic Accounting Labour: An Essay Exploring Exclusivity Versus Mutuality in Accounting Scholarship. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=308771

Rob Gray (Contact Author)

University of Glasgow - Department of Accounting and Finance ( email )

65-71 Southpark Avenue
Glasgow, Scotland G12 8LE
United Kingdom

James Guthrie

Macquarie University - Department of Accounting and Finance ( email )

Sydney - NSW, 2109
Australia

University Of Bologna - Department of Management ( email )

P.Le Vittoria 15
Forli', 47121
Italy
+39-0543-374-621 (Phone)

Macquarie University, Macquarie Business School ( email )

New South Wales 2109
Australia

Lee D. Parker

RMIT University ( email )

124 La Trobe Street
Melbourne 3000
Australia
#61399255542 (Phone)
#61399256524 (Fax)

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