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Perspectives on Faculty Effectiveness American Accounting Association 2003 New Faculty Consortium Mark W. Nelson Johnson Graduate School of Management.

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Presentation on theme: "Perspectives on Faculty Effectiveness American Accounting Association 2003 New Faculty Consortium Mark W. Nelson Johnson Graduate School of Management."— Presentation transcript:

1 Perspectives on Faculty Effectiveness American Accounting Association 2003 New Faculty Consortium Mark W. Nelson Johnson Graduate School of Management Cornell University

2 What does it mean to “close”? Marketing: Get them to sign on the dotted line. Baseball: Throw heat for the last inning. Fast food: Clean the grease traps. Lansdowne: Stall while we set up the bar. Accounting: Catch up the books and make a report. Cathy Schrand: Synthesize content by relating it to your own experience, and be frank.

3 Goals/Responsibilities I wanted my career to be fulfilling, involving Research that is stimulating, rigorous and insightful and that often gets published where I want it to be published. Teaching that imparts knowledge while being stimulating for me and my students and that is evaluated highly. Service via participation in important decisions at my school, university, academe and/or in practice. Balance between work and non-work. I wanted tenure (i.e., an option to stay) at a school with some (approximately) known set of tenure requirements. I worked with two goals in mind: Tenure at Cornell “Tenure in the profession”

4 Most people don’t have well-defined career plans. People do have a set of values, strategies, habits, tricks, etc. that they learn via instruction (advice) and experience.

5 Early Career Research Strategies

6 Research Effectiveness Goal: Enjoy creating a critical mass of published work that makes a substantial incremental contribution. My case: Came from Ohio State with My diploma (6-year clock was ticking) No prior accounting experimental research PhD seminars Bloated “single essay” dissertation No other papers even considered, let alone written or under review Cornell had Great senior faculty in my area (Libby in accounting, Thaler in econ, Russo in marketing) and accounting (Dyckman, Elliott) After 1 year, hired a great junior colleague (Rob Bloomfield) Excellent research support High expectations for both research and teaching

7 Don’t Stop Learning! Long-term: continual reinvestment is necessary For your intellectual vitality For ongoing development of the field Short-term: necessary (at least for me) to achieve acceptable performance. Ways to keep learning: Take PhD seminars (me: Libby, Thaler, Hilton) Workshops (me: accounting, behavioral economics, organizational behavior) Reviewing Hide and read

8 N (TAR 93) N (JAL 94) N (JBDM 96) BLN (AOS 97) NLB (TAR 95) BLN (TAR 96) AHN (AJPT 94) AHN (CAR 95) CHN (TAR 95) HN (TAR 96) KN (JAR 96) NK (TAR 97) D D D D D D D D D D D D FREQ (START) FREQ (DONE) FREQ (PUB) OF THE 10 PAPERS ACCEPTED PRE-1997 Overall Strategy: “Buy lots of tickets”

9 Where to buy the most tickets? What interests me? What is publishable? What am I trained to do?

10 Think carefully before saying yes. Bad papers take longer than good ones More problems to fix More submissions prior to publication Don’t fall prey to “conjunction fallacy” Perhaps “if W and X and Y and Z happen, this will be a publishable paper!”, but What if W or X or Y or Z don’t happen? Useful if the paper is interesting in many configurations of results. Rough out the paper (Libby boxes, Kinney 3 paragraphs) before committing to the project.

11 Don’t be a research sniper. Develop your reputation as a key contributor in one or two areas. Hard for one paper to make a big contribution, and you will be evaluated according to the net contribution of your work. Best paper in a stream enhances lesser papers in the stream. Leverage economies of scale (but don’t “slice the baloney too thin”) Streams emerge ex post, but try to plan the next step.

12 Work with a variety of coauthors. Senior faculty (for me: Libby and Kinney) You will learn a lot They will sell the work very well To show they are willing to work with you Note: Be persistent (lump lump) Junior faculty (for me: Bloomfield, Bonner, and Hackenbrack) Division of labor Similar incentives (tick, tick, tick) Less chance of being accused of being an RA Alone To show you can To be working when everything else is on someone else’s desk Note: Easier for research colleagues to become friends than for friends to become research colleagues.

13 Don’t mishandle the review process. Before you submit a paper: “Season” the paper with colleagues’ comments and workshops. Ask senior colleagues where to submit. When get back reviews Stay calm. Try not to take it personally. Slow down. Ask senior colleagues to help interpret reviews. My experience on both sides of the review process is: No means “No.” Unless key criticism is objectively wrong, move on. Appeals are unlikely to be successful. Maybe means “Maybe.” Best chance of success: Magee: “Delight the reviewers” by addressing underlying problems. Schipper: “I review papers, not memos.” Don’t forget, it is your paper.

14 Be a good research colleague. Participate constructively in workshop. Expose early work to colleagues and present in workshop. Give good comments if it makes sense to read a paper carefully. Be a good reviewer Focus on determining whether the paper makes an incremental contribution sufficient for that journal Be timely Be constructive All else equal, be brief

15 Early Career Teaching Strategies

16 Teaching Effectiveness Goal: Enjoy imparting knowledge and be appreciated by students for doing so. My case: At Ohio State, taught: Intro financial TA sessions 1-week MBA accounting prep course At Cornell, in first two years taught FSA (with John Elliott) Intermediate accounting (really “corporate reporting” for MBA students) Auditing (new course)

17 Important to Teach Well It is a big part of your job, and you won’t be happy with it unless you do it well. You are more important to your organization if you are evaluated well and have high enrollments. Higher enrollments help you concentrate preps and teaching time (and potentially help you hire colleagues). May not have immediate research synergy, but it will probably develop. My case: Auditing was an immediate match Financial reporting research developed after teaching in that area

18 Key Teaching Attributes Attitude Passion/Enthusiasm/Excitement Care/Empathy/Partnership Preparation Structure Technique Feedback and Revision My case: early unsolicited feedback… Later solicited feedback

19 Learn From Others! My case: Team taught with John Elliott, we sat in on each others’ lectures, and debriefed afterward. Sat in on Tom Dyckman’s Intermediate course, and stole everything I could (with his blessing). NFC was very useful to me in my year (Dyckman and Wilson were presenters). Key is to acquire and adapt techniques.

20 Increasing Teaching Efficiency Early on, focus on few preps (but do them very well, and develop them over time) I can prep all day (and rationalize it as work), so I trick myself: Prep course comprehensively before semester. Accumulate ideas and “current events” in relevant files. Put off further formal prep until evening before I teach. Teach in mornings (so free later in day). Teach early in week (MW, so free later in week). Use review sessions to batch process – “public responsiveness” while avoiding redundancy.

21 Time Management You are an independent contractor with one key input – effort. Be very careful with your time. Do what works best for your working style. Me: “Morning person” Poor “parallel processor” Struggle with scheduling flexibility Attend some conferences, but choose carefully Be wary before earning extra money via additional teaching or consulting activities the money probably isn’t worth the time -- unless there are positive spillovers

22 Service Goal: Enjoy contributing your insights to important decisions at your department, school, academe and/or practice. Important to be a reasonably good citizen, but don’t seek out labor-intensive admin. Invest in portable service. Should enhance “tenure in the profession” as well as “tenure at your school.” Good external service for junior faculty: Presenter Reviewer Discussant Gradual increasing role in AAA

23 Thank you, to: Ernst & Young! AAA NFC Committee Walt Blacconiere Jeffrey Cohen Ellen Glazerman Audrey Gramling David Hurtt Lisa Koonce Catherine Schrand Beverly Walther (chair)

24 Final Thoughts A “New Faculty Consortium Blessing”: May you: Teach well, Publish lots of good papers, Give back to the profession, Love every minute of it! Welcome!


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