When Is Corporate Governance Research Relevant to Accounting? Evidence from JAR 2002–2018
24 Pages Posted: 5 Aug 2019
Date Written: July 3, 2019
In this review, we focus on corporate governance-related research published in the Journal of Accounting Research (JAR) over the 2002-2018 period. Our main objective is not to provide an in-depth critical review of these papers, but rather to identify when and why corporate governance studies are relevant to accounting research and thus of interest to accounting journals – a question we often struggle with in our roles as authors, editors and reviewers. After a brief review of studies on executive pay (traditionally considered to be part of accounting research), we offer the following taxonomy for the rest of governance studies: (i) studies where a governance mechanism is the central determinant and an accounting construct is the outcome of interest (“governance-as-determinant” studies); (ii) studies where a governance “shock” is used to address an accounting question (“governance-as-shock” studies); (iii) studies where the governance mechanism is the construct of interest, but the mechanism itself is an accounting one (e.g. the audit committee); and, (iv) studies where a (non-accounting) governance mechanism is the construct of interest and the research question is fundamentally a governance question (“pure governance studies”). The relevance of studies that fall in the last sub-group to accounting research is not as obvious. Thus, we devote special attention to these papers, trying to identify why they were appealing to an accounting journal. We hope our review provides editors and reviewers at JAR and other accounting journals with a framework to assess the relevance of governance studies to accounting research, while also helping authors in successfully framing such studies.
Keywords: corporate governance
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