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09/02/2014Steve Salterio Ph.D. FCA 1 Choosing the right (for you) Research Question Steve Salterio Ph.D. FCA Professor of Business PWC/ONeal Fellow of.

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Presentation on theme: "09/02/2014Steve Salterio Ph.D. FCA 1 Choosing the right (for you) Research Question Steve Salterio Ph.D. FCA Professor of Business PWC/ONeal Fellow of."— Presentation transcript:

1 09/02/2014Steve Salterio Ph.D. FCA 1 Choosing the right (for you) Research Question Steve Salterio Ph.D. FCA Professor of Business PWC/ONeal Fellow of Accounting Director, CA-Queens Centre for Governance

2 Creating a program Accounting Audit Financial Managerial Tax Accounting information systems Base discipline Economics – applied Economics – theoretical Human behaviour: judgments & decision making Group forces and dynamics – social psychology and/or sociology In societal context - sociology MIX and MATCH

3 Psychology based Program Judgment and decision making (2 courses)* Learning and memory (2 courses)* Cognitive modeling (2 courses)* Cognitive neuroscience (for fun) Statistics courses (4 applied, 2 theory)** One Finance Ph.D. seminar Accounting Ph.D. seminars (4 courses) * One was enough; **three would have been enough This was my program

4 Economics based Econometrics (3 courses) Micro-economics (2 courses) Math for economists (2 courses) Finance doctoral seminars (4 courses) Accounting doctoral seminars (4 courses) This was basically Carol Ann Frosts Program

5 Sociological/Organizational Theory Organizational Theory (2 courses) Organizational Behaviour (1 course) Strategic Management (2 courses) Sociology (3 courses) Sociology methods (3 courses) Economics (1 course) Finance (1 course) Accounting doctoral seminars (3 courses) A lot of history research has it basis in sociology qualitative methods

6 09/02/2014Steve Salterio Ph.D. FCA 6 Tenure is the goal Research is the means Even at a teaching oriented school Almost 50% of tenure evaluation even at teaching oriented schools is on research Research may be defined differently, but it is still about research questions and publishing

7 09/02/2014Steve Salterio Ph.D. FCA 7 Choosing the right (for you) research question It must interest you!!!! The skipping meals test It must make a substantive contribution to accountancy Somebody other than your immediate family should be interested in it It should be approachable with strong theory or you should be developing strong theory as part of the research

8 09/02/2014Steve Salterio Ph.D. FCA 8 Question selection mistakes No one to supervise you i.e. the supervisor has published quality research in a closely related field. Research method/theoretical base that you have not studied academically. Little or no theory. The topic that your supervisor wants to publish in next.

9 09/02/2014Steve Salterio Ph.D. FCA 9 Why are these mistakes consistently made in Ph.D. programs???? The faculty member as a nice person The cobbled together nature of programs Lack of supporting discipline courses Substantive Methods

10 09/02/2014Steve Salterio Ph.D. FCA 10 Tips for Research Question Selection: Getting Ready 1. Design a Ph.D. program that makes sense Pick an area that your university has a competitive advantage 2. Course work High number of base discipline courses (economics, finance, sociology, ethics in philosophy or psychology) Large number of research methods courses 3. Dont be afraid to add extra courses to your program if your interests change or your supervisor leaves A prepared mind is necessary

11 09/02/2014Steve Salterio Ph.D. FCA 11 Tips for Research Question Selection: Getting ready II 1. Read the major journals in the field (JAR, JAE, TAR, CAR, AOS) 2. Note the topics written by assistant professors 3. Look at SSRN and read the working papers posted by assistant professors 4. Dont get carried away the latest controversy in your base discipline This identifies what are considered interesting research questions by your peers

12 09/02/2014Steve Salterio Ph.D. FCA 12 Tips for Research Question Selection: Defining the topic 1. Draw on your practice experience 2. If no experience; then talk to real people 3. Identify the topics that assistant professors at good schools are posting to SSRN 4. Think about theories that you learned in your substantive courses and how they influenced how you thought about accounting World is full of interesting questions!!!!

13 09/02/2014Steve Salterio Ph.D. FCA 13 Tips for Research Question Selection: Validating the topic 1. Look at Dissertation Abstracts 2. Look in minor journals (especially top niche journals in your field JATA, AJPT, CPA, JAAF, BRIA, JMAR) 3. Discuss with other Ph.D. students 4. Discuss with more than one faculty member 5. Email the most prominent senior faculty member in your field (only some Americans will respond, most others will as a matter of course) and ask what they think if the idea Listen carefully as they will almost always be polite – politeness does not mean its a good topic

14 09/02/2014Steve Salterio Ph.D. FCA 14 Remember research is a craft Learn about the craft aspects: How to write for publication What are the biases of various editors and journals How to respond to criticism appropriately Where does the paradigm you work in fit into the accounting hierarchy At the end of the day remember to be passionate about what you research

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