Online Toxic Communication about the Accounting Academic Job Market

Forthcoming, Accounting Horizons

38 Pages Posted: 30 Nov 2023

Date Written: November 15, 2023


This study explores the use of online toxic communication and how it impacts perceptions of DEI in the accounting academic community. During a recent job market season, we observed the use of toxic communication, including racism, sexism, and hate speech, in the form of anonymous posts made to two online job market forums. Using qualitative methods, including analysis of the online forums and a survey of job market participants, we find that forum language infers that unqualified candidates receive preferential treatment in the job market based on their race or gender, often referring to these individuals as “diversity hires.” Forum language also states that candidates from historically marginalized communities face discrimination in this process. Importantly, we find that toxic communication negatively impacts candidates’ views of DEI within the accounting academy. Overall, this study serves as a call to action to leadership to identify and denounce toxic communication within our community.

Keywords: Diversity, DEI, toxic communication, job market, accounting academy, accounting faculty

JEL Classification: M40, M49

Suggested Citation

Alberti, Cristina and Morris, Landi, Online Toxic Communication about the Accounting Academic Job Market (November 15, 2023). Forthcoming, Accounting Horizons, Available at SSRN:

Cristina Alberti

Babson College ( email )

231 Forest St.
Babson Park, MA 02457-0310
United States

Landi Morris (Contact Author)

Northern Arizona University ( email )

PO Box 15066
Flagstaff, AZ 86011
United States

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