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Accounting for Human Resources: Implications for Theory and Practice.

Description: Knowledge workers are an important resource for the typical modern business firm, yet financial reporting ignores such resources. Some researchers contend that the accounting profession has stressed reliability in order to make the accounting appear objective. Others concur, noting that accounting is an insecure profession and adopts strict rules when faced with uncertainty. Accountants have promulgated a strict rule to expense human resource costs, although many know that such resources have future benefits. Some researchers suggest that any discipline must modify its language in order to initiate change toward providing useful social ameliorations. If accounting theorists extend this idea to the accounting lexicon.s description of investments in human resources, investors and other accounting user groups might gain greater insight into how a firm fosters and nourishes human capital. I tested three hypotheses related to this issue by administering an experiment designed to assess financial analysts. perceptions about alternative financial statement treatments of human resources in an investment recommendation task. I predicted that (1) analysts' perceptions of the reliability (relevance) of the information they received would decrease (increase) as the treatment of human resources increasingly violated GAAP (became more current-oriented), (2) analysts exposed to alternative accounting treatments would report a lower likelihood of recommending that their clients invest in the company in the task, and (3) financial analysts who ranked reliability (relevance) as a more important information quality would be less (more) likely to recommend that their clients buy the stock represented in the case because the treatment of human resources on the financial statements violated GAAP (was more current-oriented) as compared to analysts who ranked reliability (relevance) as being lower (higher) in importance. Analysts receiving financial statements with accounting treatments of human resource costs that violated GAAP judged such information as less reliable and were also less likely to recommend ...
Date: December 2001
Creator: Stovall, Olin Scott

Accounting Measurement Bias and Executive Compensation Systems

Description: This dissertation presents empirical evidence intended to help answer two research questions. The first question asks whether executive compensation systems appear to exploit the bias in accounting-based performance measures in order to reduce the volatility in executive compensation and to allocate incentives more effectively across the range of activities performed by the executive. The second question asks whether compensation systems systematically differ between firms that use alternative accounting methods and whether any such systematic difference helps explain accounting choice. Parameters estimated in fixed-effects endogenous switching regression models were used to test the risk-shielding and incentive-allocation hypotheses. The models were estimated across a dataset consisting of 1151 executive-year observations of annual compensation paid to 222 top-level executives in 40 oil and gas firms. The dataset was partitioned by accounting method and separate models estimated for the full cost and successful efforts partitions. The tests provided modest support for the risk-shielding and incentive-allocation hypotheses, revealing that accounting measurement bias is used to focus incentives for effort in the exploration activity and to reduce executives' exposure to production risk. The design also allowed an estimate of the proportional change in compensation that was realized from the accounting choice actually made.
Date: December 1994
Creator: Boone, Jeffery Paul

Accounting Regulation and Information Asymmetry in the Capital Markets: An Empirical Study of Accounting Standard SFAS no 87

Description: This study uses both basic and self-selection regression models to test three hypotheses about the effect of SFAS 87 disclosures on information asymmetry during 1985- 1987. Both types of models test the hypotheses after controlling for changes in the inventory holding and order processing costs of the spread, while the self-selection models also control for potential self-selection bias.
Date: August 1994
Creator: Lin, Wen-shan

Alternative Social Security Taxing Schemes: an Analysis of Vertical and Horizontal Equity in the Federal Tax System

Description: The objectives of this study were twofold. One objective was to analyze the effects of growth in the social security tax, when combined with recent changes in U.S. income tax law, on the distribution of the combined income and social security tax burden during the 1980s. The second objective was to estimate the effects of certain proposals for social security tax reform upon that distribution. The above analyses were performed using simulation techniques applied to the 1984 IRS Individual Tax Model File. The data from this file were used to estimate the income and social security tax liabilities for sample taxpayers under tax law in effect in 1980, 1984 and 1988 and under fourteen proposals for social security reform (under 1988 law). The results indicated that the income tax distribution was almost 25 percent more progressive under 1988 tax law than under 1980 tax law. In contrast, the combined distribution of income and social security taxes was almost 25 percent less progressive under 1988 income and social security tax law relative to 1980. Two types of social security tax reform were analyzed. One type consisted of reforms to the basic social security tax structure, such as removal of the earnings ceiling, provision of exemptions and replacement of the current single tax rate with a two-tiered graduated rate structure. The second type of reform consisted of proposals to expand the theoretical tax base subject to the social security levy. The results suggested that these reforms could generate substantial increases in progressivity in the combined tax distribution. In general, it would appear that changes in the social security tax structure could generate greater improvements in progressivity than expansion of the theoretical tax base, although the greatest improvement was associated with a combination of these two reforms. With regard to horizontal equity, expansion ...
Date: December 1988
Creator: Ricketts, Robert C. (Robert Carlton)

An Analysis of Confidence Levels and Retrieval of Procedures Associated with Accounts Receivable Confirmations

Description: The study addresses whether differently ordered accounts receivable workprograms and task experience relate to differences in judgments, confidence levels, and recall ability. The study also assesses how treated and untreated inexperienced and experienced auditors store and recall accounts receivable workprogram steps in memory in a laboratory environment. Additionally, the question whether different levels of experienced auditors can effectively be manipulated is also addressed.
Date: December 1993
Creator: Rogers, Violet C. (Violet Corley)

An Analysis of Corporate Accounting and Reporting Practices in Bahrain

Description: The primary objective of this dissertation is to determine the factors that have shaped the corporate financial reporting practices in Bahrain. Prior researchers have offered two explanations, environmental factors and cultural importation, for the emergence of financial reporting practices in developing countries. The environmental explanation suggests that a nation's financial reporting practices will be shaped by its socioeconomic structure. The cultural importation explanation states that the desire for international legitimacy creates incentives for developing nation to adopt Western financial reporting practices. Bahrain provided an excellent environment in which to examine the two explanations since its public and closed corporations have similar economic characteristics. Only public corporations are legally required to publish financial reports. I posited that public corporations would try to gain legitimacy for their published reports by adopting Western standards, while closed corporations would not have a similar incentive. I used an interpretive framework to analyze the Bahrain socioeconomic environment and to examine the general financial reporting practices of Bahraini corporations. I found that closed corporations provided data responsive to the Bahraini environment. Public corporations, however, adopted International Accounting Standards. My analysis supported prior researchers7 findings that colonialism, the need for international legitimacy, and international audit firms were important factors in gaining acceptance for Western accounting practices. The adoption of Western financial reporting practices may be dysfunctional to a developing nation like Bahrain if these practices do not provide relevant information about corporate performance. Therefore, Bahrain, as well as other developing countries, needs to proceed cautiously before adopting Western corporate reporting practices.
Date: December 1993
Creator: Abdul-Rahim, Hassan M.

An Analysis of Factors Associated with Voluntary Disclosure of Management's Responsibilities for Internal Control

Description: The purpose of this study was to identify company characteristics associated with the presence of disclosures regarding internal control in the annual report. Gibbins, Richardson and Waterhouse [1990] have developed a framework from which to examine financial disclosure,. These authors define two dimensions of a company's disclosure position; opportunism and ritualism. I examined the association between variables representing the dimensions identified by these authors and a company's decision regarding disclosure of a management report on internal control. I compared specific characteristics of companies disclosing this information to those of companies not disclosing. The dependent variable represented the presence or absence of disclosure. I used logit analysis to test the significance of the chosen characteristics relative to the decision to include or exclude a management report on internal control in the annual report. My results were consistent with the existence of ritualism with respect to this issue. Reporting on internal controls was associated with membership in the Financial Executives Institute, auditor choice, certain industry designations and prior inclusion of such a report. FEI membership was closely related to initial reporting decisions as well'. I found evidence of opportunism as well. The likelihood of reporting on internal controls was related to company size (and presumably control strength), and growth rates. I also found an association between reporting and the issuance of publicly traded securities in the succeeding year and more moderate levels of debt relative to an industry average. In addition, I found that initial reporting decisions were associated with external events relating to potential legislation of the reporting issue. This research provides insight into the corporate response to reporting on internal controls.
Date: August 1992
Creator: Tanner, Margaret Morgan

An Analysis of Smoothing of Proved Oil and Gas Reserve Quantities and an Analysis of Bias and Variability in Revisions of Previous Estimates of Proved Oil and Gas Reserve Quantities

Description: The purpose of this study is to determine whether oil and gas producing companies smooth their ending reserve quantities. Smoothing is defined as a reduction in variance in the trend of ending reserve quantities over time compared to the trend of ending reserve quantities less the hypothesized smoothing variable over time. This study focuses on two variables that are most susceptible to manipulation—revisions of previous estimates and additions. This study also examines whether revisions are positively or negatively biased and the variability of the revisions. The sample consists of 70 companies chosen from oil & Gas Reserve Disclosures: 1980-1984 Survey of 400 Public Companies by Arthur Andersen and Company. For each company, ending reserve quantities for the years 1978-1984 were regressed over time, and the standard deviation of the estimate (SDE) was calculated. Then the ending reserve quantities less the hypothesized smoothing variable were regressed over time, and the SDE was calculated. A linear model and a semi-logarithmic model were used. A smoothing ratio (SR) was determined by dividing the SDE of reserves less the hypothesized smoothing variable by the SDE of ending reserve quantities. An SR greater than one indicates smoothing, and an SR less than one indicates that smoothing did not occur. The mean percentage revision and a t-test were used to test for positive or negative bias in the revisions. The mean absolute percentage revision was used to assess the relative variability of revisions. The number of companies classified as smoothers of oil reserves was statistically significant for the semi-logarithmic model but not for the linear model. Under both models the number of companies classified as smoothers of gas reserves was statistically significant. Few companies had mean percentage revisions that were significantly different from zero. The majority of companies had mean absolute revisions of under ten percent.
Date: August 1988
Creator: Campbell, Alan D.

An Analysis of the Accounting System of the Quincy Mining Company: 1846-1900

Description: This historical study examines the evolution of the accounting system of the Quincy Mining Company between 1846 and 1900. The external financial reporting practices and internal accounting procedures of the firm are defined and interpreted in the context of three time periods that portray the formation, growth and maturation of the firm. Each period reflects unique economic and social conditions that are associated with changes in the firm's accounting system. A cross temporal analysis of these changes highlights three factors: the relationship between the accounting system and the labor force, the emergence of accounting as a control mechanism and the diminishing informational content of the firm's annual reports. Primary sources are used to document the perspectives of the Quincy management and to assess the motivations for accounting processes such as internal control, auditing procedures, responsibility centers and other managerial practices. This study addresses the inherent nature of accounting information and its relationship to the economic and social environment of an individual firm in the nineteenth century.
Date: December 1992
Creator: Michael, Rodney R. (Rodney Richard)

An Analysis of the Cost Accounting Literature of the United States from 1925 to 1950

Description: This research examines the assertions made by Johnson and Kaplan (1987) that cost accounting lost relevance after 1925 due to the dominance of financial accounting, to an academic preoccupation with financial accounting, to the disappearance of engineers and to a managerial emphasis on financial measures of net income and earnings per share. Additionally, the research looks at environmental effects on cost accounting, both economic and governmental.
Date: December 1993
Creator: Vollmers, Gloria Lucey

An Analysis of the Equity and Revenue Effects of the Elimination or Reduction of Homeowner Preferences

Description: One perceived deficiency in the tax system is its unfairness (inequity). One area in which unfairness has been alleged is the favoritism shown toward homeowners. The focus of this study was on the effects of homeowner preferences on the Federal tax system. The overall impact of homeowner preferences can be said to produce three major results—loss of revenue, reduction in horizontal equity, and reduction in vertical equity.
Date: August 1987
Creator: Hall, Bethane Jo Pierce

An Analysis of the Factors Used by the Tax Court in Applying the Step Transaction Doctrine

Description: The step transaction doctrine is one of the judicial doctrines used by the courts to interpret tax law. The doctrine requires that a series of transactions be treated as a single transaction if the transactions share a single, integrated purpose. Many authors believe there is a great deal of uncertainty as to when the doctrine will be applied. Uncertainty and inconsistency in the application of tax law add to the complexity of the law. One of the most complex areas of tax law is Subchapter C of the Internal Revenue Code, which governs corporate formations, redemptions, liquidations, distributions, and reorganizations. The purpose of this study was to determine if the step transaction doctrine is being consistently applied by the Tax Court and what variables affect the judges' decision in these cases. Hierarchical logit analysis was used to derive a full model and two restricted models. The full model was used to determine the predictive power of the variables that were identified and to explain the extent to which the individual variables affect the judges' decisions. One restricted model was used to test temporal stability. The other was used to test consistency when different issues of tax law are involved. The data source was the sample of step transaction cases involving Subchapter C issues decided by the Tax Court and its predecessor, the Board of Tax Appeals. Eight variables were identified to evaluate the factors discussed in the literature and major court cases involving the doctrine. Four of the variables were found to be statistically significant. The full model correctly predicted the outcome of 79.5 percent of the cases. The restricted model to test temporal stability correctly predicted the outcome of 86.3 percent of the cases. The restricted model to test the consistency of the decisions relating to a specific topic ...
Date: August 1987
Creator: Smith, Darlene A. (Darlene Adel)

An Analysis of the Incremental Information Gain in Combining Economic, Socio-Political, and Joint-Decision Characterizations in a Study of Accounting Choice: the Case of SFAS 106

Description: Typical accounting studies attempting to explain accounting method choice employ positive theoretical hypotheses and test for association between adoption method or adoption timing and economic measures that focus upon specific firm stakeholders. Such studies addressing the adoption and impact of SFAS 87, "Employer's Accounting for Pensions," yield mixed and contradicting results. Various researchers have suggested that traditional economic analysis often fails to capture important explanatory variables and is far too simplistic. The purpose of this study is to expand analysis by evaluating a particular accounting choice by means of three different characterizations. SFAS 106, "Employers' Accounting for Postretirement Benefits Other than Pensions," allows management to choose between two very different methods of adopting the standard. The principal question explored in this study is: why did managers of firms that employ defined benefit postretirement plans for benefits other than pensions choose to adopt SFAS 106 using a particular method? The research question is explored by means of three different characterizations: 1) a traditional economic characterization; 2) a sociopolitical characterization); and 3) a joint decision characterization. Logit methodology is used with method of SFAS 106 adoption as the binary dependent variable of interest. Results indicate that all three characterizations are important in understanding the SFAS 106 adoption method choice. Further, each characterization adds separate information toward comprehension of the choice, supporting the notion of the complexity of accounting choice issues.
Date: August 1996
Creator: Baker, Pamela Smith (Pamela Smith Elaine)

An Assessment of the Effect of the Investment Tax Credit on Capital Investment in Farm Supply Cooperatives in Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin

Description: The purpose of this study is to shed more light on whether the investment tax credit is effective in stimulating capital investment. The sample includes 104 local cooperatives. The majority of the data was collected from the files of the St. Paul, Minnesota, Bank for Cooperatives. The study has a single purpose of determining whether the changes to the Internal Revenue Code in the Revenue Tax Act of 1978 had an effect on the capital expenditure levels of farm supply cooperatives. In 1978 the investment tax credit became fully available to cooperatives. Previous abatement rules were abolished, and unused credit was then passed through in full to the cooperative membership. The research model employed is a pooled time-series and cross-sectional approach, and includes data for years 1975 through 1983. In addition to capital expenditure data, the company-specific variables are debt/asset ratio, local margin, and net margin. Economic variables are a net interest-inflation rate factor, cash receipts from farming, and loan volume of banks for cooperatives. Also included are dummy variables 0 and 1, trend variables 1-9, and interaction variables for all the main-effects variables.
Date: May 1986
Creator: Milacek, Emil C., Jr.

The Association Between the Establishment of Audit Committees Composed of Outside Directors and a Change in the Objectivity of the Management Results-Reporting Function: an Empirical Investigation Into Income Smoothing Patterns

Description: The purpose of this research was to empirically examine the effect of the establishment of outside audit committees on the objectivity of the management results-reporting practices of those companies that established such committees in response to the New York Stock Exchange mandate effective June 30, 1978. Management income smoothing behavior is taken as a measurable surrogate for the objectivity of the management results-reporting practices. This research involved the testing of one research problem. The research question asks, "Will the establishment of outside audit committees by companies that had no such committees prior to the New York Stock Exchange mandate effective June 30, 1978, be associated with a decrease in the degree of smoothing in the net income series for the period after that date relative to the degree of smoothing prior to that date?" The answer to this question required the selection of an experimental and a control group. Each group was composed of fifty New York Stock Exchange listed firms. Linear and semi-log regression models were used to measure each firm's degree of income smoothing (defined as reducing the variability of a net income series about its trend line). The change in mean square errors of the experimental and control groups was compared using the chisquare and median tests. Neither the chi-square or the median test found a statistically significant increase in the objectivity of the management results-reporting function for the firms that established outside audit committees in response to the NYSE mandate effective June 30, 1978.
Date: December 1985
Creator: Roubi, Raafat Ramadan

Auditors’ Information Search and Documentation: Does Knowledge of the Client Preference Or PCAOB Accountability Pressure Matter?

Description: Auditors regularly make judgments regarding whether a client’s chosen accounting policy is appropriate and in accordance with generally accepted accounting Principles (GAAP). However, to form this judgment, auditors must either possess adequate topic-specific knowledge or must gain such knowledge through information search. This search is subject to numerous biases, including a bias toward confirmation of a client’s preference. It is important to further our understanding of bias in auditors’ information search to identify its causes and effects. Furthering our understanding is necessary to provide a basis for recommending and evaluating a potential debiaser, such as accountability. the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) annually inspects the audit files of selected engagements, which introduces a new form of accountability within the auditing profession. This new form of accountability has come at great cost, however, there is little empirical evidence regarding its effects on auditors’ processes. As such, it is important to understand whether the presence of accountability from the PCAOB is effective in modifying auditors’ search behaviors to diminish confirmation bias. Using an online experiment, I manipulate client preference (unknown vs. known) and PCAOB accountability pressure (low vs. high) and measure search type (information –focus or decision-focus), search depth (shallow or deep) and documentation quality. I investigate whether auditors’ information search behaviors differ based on knowledge of client’s preference and in the presence of accountability from an expected PCAOB inspection. I also investigate whether differences in auditors’ information search behaviors influence documentation quality, which is the outcome of greatest concern to the PCAOB. I hypothesize and find a client preference effect on information search type such that auditors with knowledge of the client preference consider guidance associated with the client’s preference longer than those without knowledge of the client’s preference. Contrary to expectations, PCAOB accountability pressure does not influence information search ...
Date: May 2012
Creator: Olvera, Renee M.

Balanced Scorecards: An Experimental Study of the Effects of Linking the Evaluators' and Subordinates' Balanced Scorecards on Performance Evaluation.

Description: In the early 1990s, Robert Kaplan and David Norton introduced and developed a new performance measurement and management system called the balanced scorecard (BSC). Most studies have found that evaluators tend to ignore or are not willing to use nonfinancial measures. This study attempts to examine whether the explicit linkage between the evaluator's BSC and the subordinate's BSC makes the evaluators use nonfinancial measures in performance evaluation. This study used an experimental design where subjects were asked to evaluate two managers' performance under explicit linkage versus nonexplicit linkage conditions. The difference between performance evaluation scores of the two managers under the two linkage conditions captures the influence of explicit linkage between BSCs on performance evaluation. I used regression analyses to test my hypothesis. The results of the regression analyses support my hypothesis. This study attempts to explore one possible reason for evaluators' not using nonfinancial measures much in performance evaluation. It is the first one that studies the influence of the linkage between the BSCs on performance evaluation.
Date: December 2008
Creator: Kang, Gerui

Budget-Related Prediction Models in the Business Environment with Special Reference to Spot Price Predictions

Description: The purpose of this research is to study and improve decision accuracy in the real world. Spot price prediction of petroleum products, in a budgeting context, is the task chosen to study prediction accuracy. Prediction accuracy of executives in a multinational oil company is examined. The Brunswik Lens Model framework is used to evaluate prediction accuracy. Predictions of the individuals, the composite group (mathematical average of the individuals), the interacting group, and the environmental model were compared. Predictions of the individuals were obtained through a laboratory experiment in which experts were used as subjects. The subjects were required to make spot price predictions for two petroleum products. Eight predictor variables that were actually used by the subjects in real-world predictions were elicited through an interview process. Data for a 15 month period were used to construct 31 cases for each of the two products. Prediction accuracy was evaluated by comparing predictions with the actual spot prices. Predictions of the composite group were obtained by averaging the predictions of the individuals. Interacting group predictions were obtained ex post from the company's records. The study found the interacting group to be the least accurate. The implication of this finding is that even though an interacting group may be desirable for information synthesis, evaluation, or working toward group consensus, it is undesirable if prediction accuracy is critical. The accuracy of the environmental model was found to be the highest. This suggests that apart from random error, misweighting of cues by individuals and groups affects prediction accuracy. Another implication of this study is that the environmental model can also be used as an additional input in the prediction process to improve accuracy.
Date: August 1986
Creator: Kumar, Akhil

The Changing Role and Responsibilities of Audit Committees in the United States

Description: The corporate form that developed in the early 20th century created enormous pressure for corporate governance mechanisms to curb the power of corporate managers. Berle and Means, legal pluralists, warned about concentrating economic power in the hands of a small but powerful class of professional managers. They claimed this "new form of absolutism" required governmental oversight and viewed boards of directors as part of management, rather than monitors for shareholders. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) proposed that corporations establish a special board committee, made up of "nonofficer members" in response to the McKesson & Robbins scandal of the late 1930s. My dissertation examines the evolution of the U.S. corporate audit committee through three specific time periods: (1) 1920-1954; (2) 1955-1986; and (3) 1987 to the passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. My purpose is to determine if evolution of the audit committee throughout these periods has been a reform continually couched in symbolism or whether the audit committee concept has evolved into real reform, allowing proper corporate governance and mitigation of unchecked corporate power. My analysis is a traditional empirical analysis, relying on both primary and secondary sources to develop a coherent ordering of facts. I use narrative in a narrow sense as my historical methodology, examining patterns that emerge and interpreting facts to develop a clear understanding of demands for and uses of audit committees. I use a holistic approach in studying the data, using narrative to show how these patterns ensue from the historical data.
Date: August 2010
Creator: Teed, Dan Graham

A Comparative Study of Internal and External Auditors' Judgment of Internal Auditor Independence

Description: The purpose of this study is to provide empirical evidence relevant to perceptions of internal auditor independence. Specifically, this study investigates how the auditor practitioners (both internal and external auditors) perceive the importance of five selected factors that characterize the organizational settings of an internal audit department. Role theory is the frame of reference used to develop the conceptual model for this study in which the judgment of internal auditor independence is viewed as the role perception of internal auditors. A modified version of the Brunswik's lens model was developed to provide "paramorphic" representation of judgment of independence. The research methodology of this study is based upon a laboratory experiment in which a replicated factorial design was used to elicit the subjects' judgments of independence. The data collected from this experiment were analyzed by three statistical methods: conjoint measurement, multiple regression, and cluster analysis. The major findings follow. First, the five selected factors were not perceived as equally important by the subjects. In general, internal auditor's scope of audit. scope o^ service, and reporting level were perceived as more important than adequacy of organizational support. and formalization of audit policies. Second, the two groups of auditors disagree, significantly, on the relative importance of scope of internal audit service. Third, while large individual differences existed on the relative importance of the five selected factors, the degree of judgment consensus, in general, is high within each auditor group. Fourth, the internal auditor's perceived role conflict and role ambiguity were inversely related to his perceived level of professional autonomy. Finally, the internal auditors' judgments were not notably affected by the perceptions of their own organizational environment. However, as evidenced by the different types of experienced role conflict and ambiguity, the nature of these auditors' environment varied considerably, Given the above findings, the following ...
Date: May 1986
Creator: Pei, Ker-Wei

A Comparison of Cognitive Moral Development of Accounting Students at a Catholic University with Secular University Accounting Students

Description: Previous research has shown that accountants may be inadequate moral reasoners. Concern over this trend caused the Treadway Commission (1987) and the Accounting Education Change Commission (1990) to call for greater integration of ethics into the student's training. Ponemon and Glazer (1990) found a difference in cognitive moral development (CMD) between accounting students at a public university and a private university with a liberal arts emphasis. This study expands Ponemon and Glazer's research by examining two liberal arts universities, one a private, secular institution and one a Catholic institution. The primary research question asks if Catholic university accounting students manifest greater CMD growth than secular university accounting students. Additionally, this study examines and compares the priority that accounting students from the different institutions place on ethical values versus economic values. It was expected that Catholic university accounting students would manifest both greater CMD growth and a greater concern for ethical values over economic values when compared with non-Catholic university accounting students. The study utilized a two-phase approach. In the first phase, an organizational study of two institutions was made to determine how each strives to integrate moral development into their accounting students' education. In the second phase, lower-division and senior accounting students were given three ethical and values related tasks to complete which propose to measure differences in ethical and economic values.
Date: April 1998
Creator: Koeplin, John P. (John Peter)

Conceptual Foundation for Human Resource Accounting

Description: With the current strain on the world's material resources and the increase in their cost, a constant pressure is building to increase the productivity of human resources. Adding, to the strain is the increasing demand of society for a higher quality of life through more meaningful work. Responding to both of these pressures requires decisions that simultaneously meet the goals of organizations and the needs and values of employees. To make the kind of decisions demanded by this dual priority of human effectiveness and improved quality of life, information is needed to: 1. Improve understanding of the nature and scope of human resource expenditures; 2. Improve selection, retention, and motivation of employees; 3. Allocate money spent on human resources; 4. Overhaul the approach to communication among managers, between managers and other employees, and between the organization as a whole and outside parties; 5. Expand the scope of internal and external reports to deal with social as well as financial accomplishments. The ultimate objective of this research is to develop a human resource model and a heuristic for developing empirical support which can be useful to businessmen seeking to increase human effectiveness and improve the quality of life. The model merges several previously unrelated theories dealing with human resources and in the process contributes some new concepts.
Date: May 1974
Creator: Flowers, Vincent S.

The Contrast-Inertia Model and the Updating of Attributions in Performance Evaluation

Description: The two problems which motivate this research concern the role of managerial accounting information in performance evaluation. The first problem is that the processing of accounting information by individual managers may deviate from a normative (Bayesian) pattern. Second, managers' use of accounting information in performance appraisal may contribute to conflict between superiors and subordinates. In this research, I applied the contrast-inertia model (C-IM) and attribution theory (AT) to predict how accounting information affects managers' beliefs about the causes for observed performance. The C-IM describes how new evidence is incorporated into opinions. Application of the C-IM leads to the prediction that information order may influence managers' opinions. Attribution theory is concerned with how people use information to assign causality, especially for success or failure. Together, the C-IM and AT imply that causal beliefs of superiors and subordinates diverge when they assimilate accounting information. Three experiments were performed with manufacturing managers as subjects. Most of the subjects were middle-level production managers from Texas manufacturing plants. The subjects used accounting information in revising their beliefs about causes for performance problems. In the experiments, the manipulated factors were the order of information, subject role (superior or subordinate), and the position of different types of information. The experimental results were analyzed by repeated measures analyses of variance, in which the dependent variable was an opinion or the change in an opinion over a series of evidence items. The experimental results indicate that the order of mixed positive and negative information affects beliefs in performance evaluation. For mixed evidence, there was significant divergence of opinions between superiors and subordinates. The results provide little evidence that superior and subordinate roles bias the belief updating process. The experiments show that belief revision in performance evaluation deviates from the normative standard, and that the use of accounting information may ...
Date: December 1989
Creator: Atkinson, Sue Andrews

A Critical Investigation of Positivism: Its Adequacy as an Approach for Accounting Research

Description: This dissertation addresses the influence of "positivism" in accounting research. Accounting research has been overwhelmed by "positivism" to the extent that the "scientific method" has become sacrosanct. The dysfunctional consequences include the extreme emphasis placed on methodology. Researchers believe that the methods applied, rather than the orientations of the human researcher, generate knowledge. This belief stems from an extreme objectivist ontological orientation. A second consequence of the "positivistic" influence is a change in direction of intellectual inquiries. Obsession with measurement and quantification has all but eliminated concern for values. Specifically this dissertation asserts that the "scientific method" has been misapplied and misunderstood. The misapplication is that a method developed in the natural sciences has been blindly accepted and endorsed in the social sciences. It has been misunderstood in the sense that the abstract Cartesian-Newtonian view of reality has been mistaken for reality itself. The ontological assumptions inherent in this view have become integrated in the Western mind. The axiomatic nature of these assumptions have been ignored. The primary purpose of this dissertation is to project a point concerning research and knowledge. Hence, there are no "research findings" in the conventional sense.
Date: August 1987
Creator: Eriksen, Scott D. (Scott Douglas)