Academic journal article Academy of Educational Leadership Journal

Doctoral Programs in Accounting and Intellectual Contributions of Accounting Faculty at Non-Doctoral Institutions

Academic journal article Academy of Educational Leadership Journal

Doctoral Programs in Accounting and Intellectual Contributions of Accounting Faculty at Non-Doctoral Institutions

Article excerpt


This study examines the curricula and training of doctoral accounting students and intellectual contributions of accounting faculty at non-doctoral institutions in Texas. The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International Standards classifies faculty intellectual contribution into three fields: discipline-based scholarship research, contributions to practice, and pedagogical research. We find that doctoral accounting students are primarily trained to promote discipline-based scholarship research, while accounting faculty in selected non-doctoral institutions produce intellectual contributions on applied and pedagogical topics.


The purpose of this study is to evaluate the role of doctoral accounting programs in training accounting faculty members who would teach in schools accredited by The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International. Accreditation for business programs in colleges and universities is comparable to the ISO9000 and ISO14000 certification in the industry as a way to improve the quality of processes and products (Munilla et al. 1998). Under the pre- 1991 standards, AACSB accreditation was confined to large and research-oriented institutions with adequate resources to meet rather narrowly defined criteria of academic scholarship-publications in quality refereed academic journals. As small and medium-sized institutions with teaching as their primary mission also wanted to improve their educational programs through accreditation, AACSB International gradually adopted new standards to allow both research- and teaching-oriented institutions to seek accreditation.

Under the mission-driven standards adopted in 1991 and 2003 (continuously updated afterwards) (AACBS International 2008), institutions can take advantage of their unique strengths in higher education. For example, previous standards on intellectual contributions referto basic or discipline-based scholarship only (the discovery of new knowledge that is published in refereed academic journals), but new standards in 1991 and 2003 broadened the definition by adding two additional categories: 1) contributions to practice and 2) learning and pedagogical research. Standards in 1991 and 2003 employ different, but comparable, terms to describe each of the classified faculty intellectual outputs: basic research, applied research, and intellectual development in 1991, but discipline-based scholarship, contributions to practice, and learning and pedagogical research in 2003. This paper uses terms employed in the 2003 document.

Under the 2003 standards, membership in AACSB International is open to any academic institution that demonstrates the intellectual activities of their faculty in line with its announced educational mission. For example, institutions with doctoral programs place emphasis on discipline-based scholarship, while institutions with a primary undergraduate teaching focus select learning and pedagogical research as their primary categories in intellectual contributions. Institutions with master' s degree programs could balance three areas (McKenna et al. 1997). In each case, faculty members must demonstrate competence through intellectual activities for attaining initial AACSB accreditation and maintenance (Swinney et al. 2002).

AACSB International Standards classify faculty into two distinct groups based on their academic qualifications: academically or professionally qualified faculty members. The former is trained to perform academic research with a terminal degree in their area of teaching, while the latter is expected to bring real-world experience into the classroom. Since business academic curricula must address real-world issues, a combination of instruction in both academic rigor and current real -world experience would equip business graduates with critical thinking as well as applicable knowledge and skills in business. In general, academically qualified faculty members produce intellectual outputs that enable their institution to move toward achieving its educational mission. …

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