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Welcome to AAA-Deloitte-J. Michael Cook Doctoral Consortium Shyam Sunder Yale University AAA Doctoral Consortium Lake Tahoe, June 13-17, 2007.

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Presentation on theme: "Welcome to AAA-Deloitte-J. Michael Cook Doctoral Consortium Shyam Sunder Yale University AAA Doctoral Consortium Lake Tahoe, June 13-17, 2007."— Presentation transcript:

1 Welcome to AAA-Deloitte-J. Michael Cook Doctoral Consortium Shyam Sunder Yale University AAA Doctoral Consortium Lake Tahoe, June 13-17, 2007

2 An Overview What I got from the Doctoral Consortium How you could get the most from investment of your four days Scope of accounting research Theories, facts and their relationship Science, social science and humanities Posing a research question AAA, Imagination and Chicago meetings

3 Salt Lake City, 1972 There are interesting questions I had never thought about There are ways of looking at the same phenomena that never occurred to me There are ways of finding answers to questions I did not even know about Research is not a production process (and the labor theory of value does not apply) Each of us is both an essential as well as the weakest link in our research

4 Consortium = A Cooperating Arrangement or Joint Venture To explore ideas new to you To develop explanations that may not have occurred to you Find ways of sorting ideas and explanations: –By logical consistency –By empirical validity –By boundaries of generalizability Cooperate with your colleagues and the faculty Establish intellectual links with your cohort Keep and open mind but listen critically Don’t be afraid to challenge or disagree but not just for the sake of disagreeing

5 A Question from Mom What do you do for a living? Teaching would satisfy her, but would not be entirely true Fortunately, she never asked. But two colleagues did, a sociologist and a physicist What do you do in accounting research? I could not give them the answer for Mom; they know better I managed to answer their questions to their apparent satisfaction (assuming they were not just being polite)

6 Perspectives, Organizations and Accounting Forms PerspectiveOrganization form Accounting form ClassicalEntrepreneurial without hierarchy Bookkeeping StewardshipEntrepreneurial with hierarchy Managerial Capital marketsPublicly tradedFinancial

7 Inclusivity of Accounting Forms Financial Managerial Bookkeeping

8 Firm as a Set of Contracts among Agents

9 To the Physicist The measurement angle Walked him through the problem of measurement of his personal wealth After counting the contents of his wallet, he was not sure how to proceed to the next step Then scaled the problem up to an organization of many people and activities He could see the difficulty, or at least did not pursue the matter further

10 But Most People Have No Idea of What We Do History Measurement Technology of accounting Aggregation Governance Contracts and organizational engineering Wealth creation Social organization (national budget, bank supervision) Standards and competition Could we invite our colleagues into the accounting house of research and show them interesting stuff we do? The Doctoral Consortium is an opportunity to look at our collective whole, and be inspired to extend the boundaries

11 Our Challenges Dealing with two Kinds of Interplay –Between data and theory –Between laws of nature and human beings

12 Theory and Data The extent of separation between theory and data, often presumed, is limited The two are so closely intertwined that settling on their primacy is like figuring out whether the chicken or the egg came first Even the most abstract theorists are motivated by observation of the world Even the most hard-headed empiricist is driven by the logical structure of an explicit or implicit theory In search for a way to deal with self-selection problems, I turned to experiments And found yet new problems

13 Testing Theories with Data All theories are based on many assumptions Assumptions can be divided in to core and convenience assumptions Convenience assumptions are made so we can use analytical instruments to solve complex problems Empirical testing (weather data from the field or lab) are designed to assess the robustness of theoretical results as we weaken the assumptions of convenience

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15 Sciences, Humanities and Social Sciences Science: identify laws of nature (eternal, applicable everywhere) Humanities: Each of us is unique and special, with free will and responsible for our actions (literature, eternal truths, but no eternal laws) Social science: stands uncertainly between sciences and humanities Are there eternal laws that govern our behavior as individuals, or do we have free will This basic conflict of social sciences remains unresolved

16 Three Levels of Analysis Individual behavior (psychology and social psychology) Aggregate behavior (economics and sociology) Agent-based models to discover relationships between these two worlds Jon Davis talk on Agent-based models

17 Posing A Research Question What is the question you would like to have answered after the experiment? (A question is a single sentence with a question mark at the end.) What do you know already about the possible answers to the above question ? What are the various possible ways of finding an answer to the above question? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each method? How important is this question to YOU? What are the chances that the answer you get from the research will surprise you or others? What are the chances that it will change someone’s mind? How would you conduct your research? (write down a design and plan) Is your design the simplest possible design to help answer the above question? What are the possible outcomes of research? Do the possible outcomes include at least one outcome that will answer the question you stated above? What is the chance that you will observe this outcome? Iterate as necessary

18 AAA Update –Intellectual Property Task Force –Global Accounting Digital Archive –New Electronic Journal: Current Issues in Auditing –Imagined World of Accounting: Program for Chicago Annual Meetings

19 Intellectual Property Task Force Development of new information and communications technologies (ICT) has shifted the economics of intellectual property. As with other academic associations, production of intellectual property has been a major activity of AAA. The Intellectual Property Task Force will examine the technological, economic, financial, organizational, competitive, and intellectual consequences of the changes in ICT for AAA, and recommend any changes to the Executive Committee, the Council and the membership of the AAA with respect to its financial structure, publications, organization, and other relevant actions.

20 Global Accounting Digital Archive Data availability, structure, depth, accessibility and cost are critical to accounting research to support basic, applied and practice research. Given new data technologies, there is an opportunity to develop a decentralized, global, cooperative, organized effort to make accounting literature and archives (non- copyrighted or copyright expired or released) readily, instantly and globally available to researchers to stimulate and support accounting as well as business research. Leading professional and academic accounting associations, forming a sponsoring coalition to create this public good, will serve as the catalysts to establish a unique resource on Internet which is unlikely to come into existence otherwise.

21 Imagined Worlds of Accounting Some Highlights of the Chicago AAA Program August 6-8, 2007

22 Plenary Addresses The Origin of Accounting –Denise Schmandt-Besserat, Professor Emerita of Art and Middle Eastern Studies, University of Texas at Austin (Archeology) Culture and the Nature of Human Sociality –Joseph Henrich, Professor of Culture, Cognition and Evolution, University of British Columbia (Anthropology) Accounting, Law and Social Norms. –Michael Hechter, Professor of Global Studies, Arizona State University (Sociology) –Eric Posner, Professor Law, University of Chicago Data and Economic Growth –Robert E. Lucas, Jr., University of Chicago, Nobel Laureate Hayek and Experiment –Vernon L. Smith, George Mason University, Nobel Laureate

23 Plenary Speakers Tuesday Lunch: John Dickhaut, University of Minnesota, AAA Presidential Scholar, 2007 Wednesday Lunch: Gary J. Previts, incoming President of the American Accounting Association

24 Follow-up Sessions on Plenaries Accounting, Anthropology and Archeology –Basu, Goetzmann, and Waymire Accounting and Social Norms –Paul Fischer and Mark Penno Accounting and the Macroeconomy –Kanodia and Dye Hayek, Accounting and Experiment –Bloomfield

25 At Large Sessions Europe Meets America: Diverse Research Perspectives –Biondi (France), Suzuki (UK), Lukka (Finland) History of Accounting Scholarship –Pierre Liang, George Sorter A Proposed Accounting Curriculum –Demski and Fellingham Big Unanswered Questions in Accounting –Ball, Fukui, Huddart, Nagar

26 At Large Sessions Financial Literacy: Programs and Response –Previts Point-Counterpoint 1 –Benston, Linsmeier on fair value accounting Point-Counterpoint 2 –Lynn Turner and Larry Ribstein on SOX Data Mining and Accounting –Srivastava

27 At Large Sessions Building Accounting Archives –Tonya Flesher SEC Regulation Update –Glover, Jorgensen, Taub Global Accounting Digital Archives Project –Vasarhelyi FASB Research Initiative –Bloomfield, Linsmeier

28 At Large Sessions Accounting and Neuroscience –John Dickhaut Alternative formats for Accounting Journals –Tony Tinker World Market for Accounting PhDs –Christensen, Banerjee, Wong, and Lukka Academic and Professional Qualifications –Jack Wilkerson Fiscal Wake Up Call for US –David Walker, Controller General of the US

29 Wednesday Afternoon Raffle Exciting sessions for Wednesday afternoon Attendance in each session on Wednesday afternoon (after lunch) earns you a raffle ticket At the end of the last session on Wednesday, we draw the winner of the raffle (must be present to win) Prize?

30 Greg Waymire and the Program Committee are hard at work on developing an exciting program for the Chicago meetings As more parts of the program are finalized, watch for details from Tracey and her colleagues!

31 Finally In PhD programs, faculty ask you to read the stuff they wrote, and test you Awareness of the advantage grey hairs have over the youth are drilled in—we know, you don’t. What is kept hidden from you is your advantage over the older folks Your advantage: we know, you don’t You have a clean slate to generate new ideas, perspectives, problems, methods, and solutions

32 History of Scholarship and Creativity Long history of extraordinary creative achievements of the young Do not underestimate your own ability to transform our discipline—any discipline? Cooper’s dissertation was rejected Ball and Brown was pre-dissertation research Look at music: Presley, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, U2, Nirvana and many others How old were these folks at the peak of creativity

33 Fresh Perspectives are Resisted, even Ridiculed People are skeptical of new ideas because most of them turn out to be wrong When they are right, they create problems for the establishment If you have a good new idea, expect resistance (faculty, editors, referees) Should you yield to their demands or fight? How you decide to answer that question will determine whether research is fun or a chore Remember the risk return trade off

34 What is the Difference between a researcher and a government bond?

35 See You in Chicago! And do not forget to become a member of AAA Why?

36 Thank You and welcome again to this 37 th Consortium


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