Academic journal article Global Perspectives on Accounting Education

An Empirical Analysis of Faculty Recruiting by Non-Doctoral Programs in Accounting

Academic journal article Global Perspectives on Accounting Education

An Empirical Analysis of Faculty Recruiting by Non-Doctoral Programs in Accounting

Article excerpt


This paper provides a description of the relative success of non-doctoral programs at securing accounting faculty of choice. Using the logic that faculty from more prestigious doctoral programs possess more choice in the jobs they take, this paper accumulates the result of these decisions. Focusing on the non-doctoral sector, this paper provides a measure of how successful schools have been at recruiting faculty. These descriptive results are shown to be mostly consistent through time, and resistant to variations in measurement. Moreover, geographic proximity does not seem to be a strong alternative explanation. When only considering faculty employment decisions that occur immediately after doctoral training (rather than those later in academic careers) a not too different version of non-doctoral recruiting success emerges from the historical record.

Key words: Accounting faculty, academic careers, institutional prestige, doctoral student placement, non-doctoral schools.

Data availability: Data used in this paper are available upon request from the second author.

Every August, accounting academics convened at the annual meetings of the American Accounting Association (AAA), are stunned anew by the imbalance in their job market. Available positions have outstripped candidates for those positions for many years. Testament to this imbalance also appears with every successive edition of the Accounting Faculty Directory (Hasselback) and anecdotal accounts of impending "baby boomer" generation retirements. Now made official by an AAA commissioned study, the supply of new accounting Ph.D.s do not approximate that need to replace retiring faculty (Leslie, 2008). No one would question that many schools, seeking the many benefits of a full-time accounting faculty, must engage in an unprecedently fierce competition for a shrinking pool of professoriate talent.

The market failure conditions that we face necessitate a renewed consideration of the distribution of faculty to schools. Despite years of study on related questions, we still only have a very vague impression about why faculty take the jobs that they do. Against bad odds, some universities win the battle for faculty talent, while others do not. The latter schools must fill in with part time faculty or hire faculty that are unlikely to be long-term solutions to their staffing problem.

As a first step toward studying the elements of faculty attraction to positions, we must identify a means of score-keeping. To do so, this paper addresses the market for faculty in a different way than prior research. First, it focuses upon the non-doctoral programs. This segment of the academy has been forced somewhat "beneath the radar" relative to doctoral programs. Second, the paper mitigates the measurement of intellectual contributions approach that has made other aspects of institutional quality difficult to appreciate. Schools are much more than loci of research productivity.

Many reasons exist in the calculus of job decisions. Each candidate possesses a wide variety of attributes whose desirability schools must weigh. Likewise, from the perspective of candidates, any job that might be taken presents a bevy of salient characteristics. Given this level of complexity, the lack of research on the issue is not surprising.

The paper is organized through the use of four subsequent sections. The first examines the available literature and offers testable research questions. The second describes the methods and data used to shed light on these questions. The last two sections describe the results and discuss them. That discussion includes a consideration of the limitations of the work and future research that should be attempted.


The General Issue

Anyone who has served in the academy will agree that not all schools are equal. Schools possess different missions that communicate where they strike a balance between several desirable outcomes. …

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