An Empirical Assessment of the Rise and Fall of Accounting as an Academic Discipline
48 Pages Posted: 26 Mar 2007
Date Written: November 2006
The history of accounting as an academic discipline is a short one. Although the study of accounting in institutions of higher education is roughly coextensive with the rise of the business school, the need for a dedicated group of full-time faculty in this area is not as well-established as other business disciplines. The paper pertains to the recent trajectory of the accounting professoriate. Disciplinary success should be evidenced by the broader recognition of importance, high demand for its work, and the numerical increase of its practitioners. Although the value and importance of accounting is a maintained hypothesis within the field, how accepted this idea is in the business school is an empirical question. This paper illustrates the number and distribution of accounting faculty over a twenty-year period through the consideration of a number of specific research questions. The results show that after a decade-long increase, the number of the full-time accountancy faculty in the USA in the last decade has declined. This decline is not uniform, but instead is patterned in ways that raise further doubts about the future of the discipline.
Keywords: accounting education, accounting doctoral programs, accounting teaching, business education, tenured professor, accounting department prestige
JEL Classification: M40, M41, M49
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation