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Accounting academia and the threat of the paying-off mentality


  • Gendron, Yves


This essay reflects on a trend that increasingly affects ways of thinking and doing in accounting academia, namely, the expansion of the paying-off mentality. The latter relates to behavior being driven by a sense of benefits and rewards that are expected to materialize in the short run. Specifically, the essay brings to the fore a number of threats, engendered through short-termism, that arguably impede the development of accounting research and education. Does paying-off prevent publishers from facilitating public access to research articles? Does paying-off constrain the attractiveness of academic careers in the eyes of young accounting practitioners? Does paying-off increasingly transform universities into places that aim to deliver, first and foremost, technical education? Does paying-off increasingly constrain innovativeness in the field of accounting research? In addressing such questions, the essay aims further to sensitize academics to the serious risks of allowing such a field of academic activity and inquiry to be overexposed to the influence of short-termism.

Suggested Citation

  • Gendron, Yves, 2015. "Accounting academia and the threat of the paying-off mentality," CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES ON ACCOUNTING, Elsevier, vol. 26(C), pages 168-176.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:crpeac:v:26:y:2015:i:c:p:168-176
    DOI: 10.1016/

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bertrand Malsch & Yves Gendron, 2013. "Re-Theorizing Change: Institutional Experimentation and the Struggle for Domination in the Field of Public Accounting," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(5), pages 870-899, July.
    2. Anthony Hopwood, 2008. "Changing Pressures on the Research Process: On Trying to Research in an Age when Curiosity is not Enough," European Accounting Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(1), pages 87-96.
    3. Kornberger, Martin & Justesen, Lise & Mouritsen, Jan, 2011. "“When you make manager, we put a big mountain in front of you”: An ethnography of managers in a Big 4 Accounting Firm," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 36(8), pages 514-533.
    4. Roberts, John, 2009. "No one is perfect: The limits of transparency and an ethic for 'intelligent' accountability," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 34(8), pages 957-970, November.
    5. Yves Gendron, 2008. "Constituting the Academic Performer: The Spectre of Superficiality and Stagnation in Academia," European Accounting Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(1), pages 97-127.
    6. Rihab Khalifa & Paolo Quattrone, 2008. "The Governance of Accounting Academia: Issues for a Debate," European Accounting Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(1), pages 65-86.
    7. repec:bla:joares:v:6:y:1968:i:2:p:159-178 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. repec:eee:crpeac:v:20:y:2009:i:8:p:896-909 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Jeacle, Ingrid & Carter, Chris, 2011. "In TripAdvisor we trust: Rankings, calculative regimes and abstract systems," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 293-309.
    10. Moizer, Peter, 2009. "Publishing in accounting journals: A fair game?," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 285-304, February.
    11. repec:eee:crpeac:v:22:y:2011:i:4:p:434-450 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Brown, Lawrence D., 1996. "Influential accounting articles, individuals, Ph.D. granting institutions and faculties: A citational analysis," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 21(7-8), pages 723-754.
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    1. repec:eee:crpeac:v:51:y:2018:i:c:p:24-46 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:eee:crpeac:v:55:y:2018:i:c:p:1-11 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:eee:crpeac:v:51:y:2018:i:c:p:4-23 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:eee:joaced:v:41:y:2017:i:c:p:33-47 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. repec:eee:crpeac:v:26:y:2015:i:c:p:117-129 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. repec:eee:crpeac:v:44:y:2017:i:c:p:1-29 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. repec:eee:crpeac:v:42:y:2017:i:c:p:59-73 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Palea, Vera, 2015. "Journal Rankings and the Sustainability of Diversity in Accounting Research," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers 201546, University of Turin.


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