Jan 21 2016

PhD-course in Accounting Classics (7,5 ECTS)

Published by at 5:12 pm under PhD Courses

Course Director: Bino Catasús
Course coordinator: Linnéa Shore

1. Course description and instructions

Accounting Classics is an eight-day PhD-course spread over four seminars during the spring of 2013. The course is designed as a 7.5 ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) accreditation and aims to attract PhD students who have an interest to get a broad view on various accounting topics. The course is given in collaboration between Stockholm School of Economics (SSE), Stockholm University School of Business (SU) and Uppsala University (UU). The seminars are based on active student participation and on student presentations.

The name of the course, Accounting Classics, indicates that the papers can be perceived as having stood the test of time. However, the definition and choice of what is a “classic” is a debated issue. Here, classic indicates either often cited work or work that has been particularly influential in specific areas. Furthermore, classics in accounting research tend not to stand the test of time if we compare e.g. to literature. Nevertheless, the Accounting Classics become obligatory points of reference in terms of framing an accounting field. Therefore, this course offers insights into literature that we could expect to see discussed in the future as well. During the course’s first three seminars the students will read and discuss different sets of papers and probe into questions like:

  • What are the “take aways” from the paper/book?
  • What has (not) made this paper worthy of being labelled a classic?
  • What empirical corpus is mobilized? How does this compare to your project?
  • What method(s) are being applied?
  • How do these readings compare with each other? Are they in conflict with other dominating descriptions of accounting?
  • How does the literature stand the test of time?
  • What, if anything, can be a resource for your own project?

During the last session the students will present a literature review. The analysis should rely on (some of the) literature discussed in the first three seminars.

2. Learning outcomes

  • To give a broad insight into influential readings in accounting research.
  • To broaden the view of accounting research so that it is possible to engage in several discourses in accounting.
  • To stimulate the participants to engage with readings that have been influential.
  • To introduce competing theoretical and methodological frameworks/approaches.
  • To encourage the use of interpretive approaches to accounting research.


  • To show how previous Scandinavian PhD-thesis have been composed in terms of accounting classics.
  • To develop the participants’ transferable skills to international standards.

3. Practicalities:

The course conductors are faculty from SSE, SU and UU and the venues for the four two-day

seminars will change accordingly.


Topic Date time and room (all 2016) Venue* Tutors (prel)
Seminar 1 Introduction, Auditing, Reporting and Accounting and representation Date: 31/3

Time: 13.00-17.00

Room: 2:229

Date: 1/4

Time: 9.00-12.00

Room: 2:231

Stockholm Business School, Stockholm University, Kräftiket Prof. Bino Catasús


Strategy and management control, Behavioural Accounting and Management control Date: 27/4

Time: 10.00-17.00 Room: Faculty Club (H429)

Date: 28/4

Time: 09.00-12.00

Room: E203

Department of Business Administration, Uppsala University, Ekonomikum Prof. Fredrik Nilsson


Accounting History, Accounting Regulation, Towards an extended view on management control, quantitative auditing research Date: 17/5

Time: 13.00-17.00

Room: TBD

Date 18/5

Time: 9.00-12.00


School of
Prof. Henrik Nilsson

Prof. Johnny

Prof. Walter Sxhuster



Presentation of literature
Date: 30/5

Time: 09.00-12.00

Room: 2:239

Date: 31/5

Time: 09.00-12.00

Room: 2:231

Stockholm Business School, Stockholm University, Kräftiket

Prof. Bino Catasús Prof. Fredrik Nilsson


*Specifics (e.g. which address or which room) will be sent directly to the admitted students.

4. Application:

The application should be sent to Linnea Shore ls@sbs.su.se before February 15, 2015. Please note that the number of students that can attend the course is limited and that students of the PhD School of Accounting in Sweden (FIRE) are prioritized in the admission. The application should include: Name, affiliation, (Preliminary) Project title, What year you started as a PhD.

Please note that it is possible for PhD-students admitted to Swedish Universities to apply for grants for travel and accommodation by contacting Svenska Revisionsakademin (www.revisionsakademin.se).

5. Deliverables:

  • The students are expected to be present during all seminars.
  • It is expected that the students have read the literature for the seminar before the seminar and that the students are ready to discuss and even present various aspects of the text.
  • Participants will be required to submit a written piece of work to each seminar.
    • To the first three seminars (including the first one) the students are expected to write comments on the papers for the seminar. This paper should not exceed 2000 words. A possible way to write this short review is to relate to the questions above.
    • To the final seminar the students are expected to submit a literature review of a (for them) relevant stream of accounting literature. The review should be no longer than 3000 words. The students should also be ready to present the paper at the last seminar.
    • To the final seminar, the students are expected to read each other’s reviews and to give comments at the seminar.
    • Please note that there may be more specified instructions sent out to the participants during the course


Literature (prel):

Seminar 1: Interdisciplinary accounting


Anderson-Gough, F., C. Grey, et al. (2005). “Helping them to forget”: the organizational

embedding of gender relations in public audit firms.” Accounting, organizations and society 30(5): 469-490.

Pentland, B. T. (1993). “Getting comfortable with the numbers: auditing and the micro-

production of macro-order.” Accounting, organizations and society 18(7): 605-620. Power, M. (1996). “Making things auditable.” Accounting, organizations and society 21(2): 289-


Accounting representation

Chua, W. F. (1995). “Experts, networks and inscriptions in the fabrication of accounting images: a story of the representation of three public hospitals.” Accounting, organizations and

society 20(2): 111-145.

Espeland, W. N. and M. L. Stevens (1998). “Commensuration as a social process.” Annual review of sociology: 313-343. Hines, R. D. (1988). “Financial accounting: in communicating reality, we construct reality.” Accounting, organizations and society 13(3): 251-261.


Cooper, S. M. and D. L. Owen (2007). “Corporate social reporting and stakeholder accountability: The missing link.” Accounting, organizations and society 32(7): 649-667.

Young, Joni J. (2006). “Making up users.” Accounting, Organizations and Society 31(6): 579-600. Shapiro, B. P. (1997). “Objectivity, relativism, and truth in external financial reporting: What’s

really at stake in the disputes?” Accounting, organizations and society 22(2): 165-185


Seminar 2:

Strategy and management control

Govindarajan V. (1988). “A Contingency Approach to Strategy Implementation at the Business Unit Level: Integrating Administrative Mechanisms with Strategy.” Academy of Management Journal 31: 828-853.

Roberts J. (1990). “Strategy and Accounting in a U.K. Conglomerate.” Accounting, Organizations and Society 15: 107-126.

Simons R. (1994). “How Top Managers Use Control Systems as Levers of Strategic Renewal.” Strategic Management Journal 15: 169-189.

Behavioural accounting

Hopwood AG. (1972). “An Empirical Study of the Role of Accounting Data in Performance

Evaluation.” Journal of Accounting Research 10: 156-182.

Otley DT. (1978). “Budget Use and Managerial Performance.” Journal of Accounting Research 16:


Jönsson S. and Grönlund A. (1988). “Life with a Sub-contractor: New Technology and

Management Accounting.” Accounting, Organizations and Society 13: 512-532.

Management control

Hedberg B. and Jönsson S. (1978). “Designing Semi-confusing Information Systems for

Organizations in Changing Environments.” Accounting, Organizations and Society 3: 47-64. Hopwood AG. (1983). “On Trying to Study Accounting in the Contexts in which it Operates.”

Accounting, Organizations and Society 8: 287-305.

Scapens, R. W. (2006). “Understanding management accounting practices: A personal journey.” The British Accounting Review, 38: 1-30.


Seminar 3:

Accounting History

Zeff, S. (1978). “The Rise of Economic Consequences, Stanford Lectures in Accounting”. (18 p. distributed to participants)

Zeff, S. (1999). “The Evolution of the Conceptual Framework for Business Enterprises in the United States. Accounting Historians Journal 26 (2): 89-131.

Accounting Regulation

Watts, R. and Zimmerman, J (1978). “Towards a Positive Theory of the Determination of

Accounting Standards”. The Accounting Review 53 (1): 112-134.

Chambers, R (1993). “Positive Accounting Theory and the PA Cult”. Abacus 29 (1): 1-26.

Quantitative auditing research

Gul, Ferdinand A., Donghui Wu, and Zhifeng Yang. “Do individual auditors affect audit quality?

Evidence from archival data.” The Accounting Review 88.6 (2013): 1993-2023.

Craswell, Allen T., Jere R. Francis, and Stephen L. Taylor. “Auditor brand name reputations and

industry specializations.” Journal of accounting and economics 20.3 (1995): 297-322. Teoh, Siew Hong, and T. J. Wong. “Perceived auditor quality and the earnings response

coefficient.” Accounting Review (1993): 346-366.

Extended view on management control

Otley, D. (1994). Management control in contemporary organizations: towards a wider

framework, Management Accounting Research, 5, 289-299.

Tomkins, C. (2001). Interdependencies, trust, and information in relationships, alliances and

networks, Accounting, Organizations and Society, 161-191.