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University Sains Malaysia

School of Management


Doctor of Business Administration

Semester one, Academic Session 2002/2003


AGW701: Seminar on Accounting and Management Control



Course Synopsis


This course is designed to expose students to various theories and paradigms that exist in accounting and accounting research. Students initially will be led to understanding the various facets that make up the accounting research. Among the theories that will be discussed include the positive accounting theory, agency theory, and contingency theory. Gradually students will be introduced to how do the various theories apply in a particular topic such as earnings management, choice of accounting policy, management accounting and control, auditing and internal control.



Course Objectives


To introduce students to classical works in accounting via readings of the seminal papers in relevant areas.

To introduce students to various current issues in accounting as to make them more aware of the development and potential research areas in future.

To lay strong theoretical and practical foundation prior to students’ consultancy and research component.

To allow students to appreciate the issues and methodological uniqueness in accounting.



Course Evaluation


Project paper                                          20%

Presentations                                         20

Participation                                          10

Final examination                                  50

Total                                                   100%



Presentation (20%)


Each student is required to lead a group discussion based on articles, which will be circulated in advance. Students will be notified of the group and the relevant articles that need to be presented. The effectiveness of group discussion will be assessed on the following criteria:

n      Ability to highlight key issues in an article, e.g., problem statement, research objectives, literature, methodology, and significance of the studies.

n      Understanding the subject matter, e.g., the importance of the topic to managers, policy makers, and users.

n      Comprehension of the methodology used-why the suggested methodology is appropriate, what other ways can the research be carried out?

n      Practical and theoretical implications-what can be learned from the research.

n      Limitations of such research.

n      Suggestions for improvement-future research.



Project paper (20%)


Students are required to submit a project paper, which will review the state-of-the-art of a chosen topic based on the themes that are covered in the course. The review shall include issues of historical development, perspectives, changes in methodology, and an evaluation of how the findings have impacted the current practices. The review must critically evaluate and comment all the development that has taken place.


Students are encouraged to start the project paper almost immediately as the project will take up a lot of time to prepare. All background works must be undertaken independently without having to wait until the materials is presented and discussed in class. Students are also encouraged to make appointments and sit in with the relevant faculty members for discussion.


The assessment of the review will take into consideration these factors:


n      Originality: Own contribution rather than only borrowing and copying.

n      Intellectual discussion: analytical skills, ability to conceptualize, ability to put arguments into perspectives, etc.

n      Clarity of arguments.

n      Overall presentations: formatting, heading and sub-headings, references, professional look, etc.




Course Approach


The faculty member concerned will start the seminar with a discussion of the theme of the topic, its importance, and significant findings in this area. It will be followed by presentations from the students and a class discussion. The faculty member will then summarize the lesson for the day.




Course content


Meetings                                                          Topics                                                     


Seminar 1                          History of accounting knowledge and theoretical, positive            

29 June                               accounting theory, role of financial accounting,

Dr  Yuserrie Zainuddin      management accounting and auditing


Seminar 2                          Positive accounting theory, accounting policy choice,

      29 June                               earnings management, methodological issues

      Dr Fauziah Taib           


Seminar 3                          Positive accounting theory, accounting policy choice,

      26 July                               earnings management, methodological issues

      Dr Fauziah Taib               


      Seminar 4                         State of the Art  Research in Auditing 

      26 July                               

      Dr Hasnah Haron


      Seminar 5                          Behavioral research and an example of research in auditing 

      9 August                              

      Dr Hasnah Haron                      


      Seminar 6                         Management accounting and control systems: contingency

      9 August                           theory

     Prof. Daing Ibrahim           



     Seminar 7                           Governance: private and public sector,

     To be announced                  performance related pay.

     Dr Dhiman Chowdhury


     Seminar 8                           Governance: private and public sector, performance

     To be announced                 related pay.

     Dr Dhiman Chowdhury




Required Readings


Seminar 1: History of Accounting Knowledge and Theoretical Perspective


Chua, W.F. (1986), Radical Developments in Accounting Thought, The Accounting Review, Vol. LX1, No. 4, 601-31.


Roslender, R. (1990), Sociology and Management Research, British Accounting Review, 22, 251-372.



Seminar 2 and 3: Positive Accounting Theory and Accounting Policy Choice


Watts, R. and Zimmerman, J. (1990), Positive Accounting Theory: Ten Years Perspective, The Accounting Review, 65, 131-156.


Healy, P. (1985), The Effect of Bonus Schemes on Accounting Decisions, Journal of Accounting and Economics, 7, 85-107.


Jones, J. (1991), Earnings Management during Import Relief Investigations, Journal of Accounting Research, 29, 2, 193-228.


DeChow, P., Sloan, R. and Sweeney, A. (1995), Detecting Earnings Management, The Accounting Review, 70, 193-226.


Burgstahler, D. and Dichev, I. (1997), Earnings Management to Avoid Earnings Decreases and Losses, Journal of Accounting and Economics, 24, 99-126.


Gore, P., Taylor, P. and Taib, F. (2000), Accounting for Goodwill: An Examination of Factors Influencing Management Preferences, Accounting and Business Research, 30, 3, 213-225.



Seminar 4 :  State of the Art  Research in Auditing: Opinion Formulation Process


Audit research revolves around the issue of audit judgement or opinion formulation process. This seminar will examine the research done in this area and will give an insight to  theories and methodologies used in auditing research.  The seminar concludes with a brief discussion of  “research gaps” in this area.


At the end of the seminar, students are required to be able to:

·        Discuss the types of audit research that has been done

·        Discuss the theories and methodologies used in auditing research

·        Determine “gaps” in the area of research










The seminar will be conducted as follows:





2:30 – 3:00 p.m

Brief introduction of the overall expectation of seminar


3:00 – 4:00  p.m

Group presentation


4:00 -  4:30 p.m

Q & A


4:30 – 5:00 p.m

Recapitulation of presentation and conclusions



Required Readings:


(1) Felix, W.L. & Kinney, W.R.(1982). Research in the Auditor’s Opinion Formulation Process: State of the Art, The Accounting Review,April, 245-271.


(2) Libby, Robert & Lewis, B.L.(1977). Human Information Processing Research in Accounting: The State of the Art, Accounting, Organisations and Society, Vol. 2, No. 3, 245-268.


Seminar Questions:

  1. Discuss the research that has been done pertaining to audit judgement.
  2. What are the methodologies used in these research?
  3. What are the theories used in these research?
  4. Identify the “research gaps”.



Seminar 5 :  Behavioral research and an example of research in auditing


The seminar will discuss what is meant by behavioral research in auditing and will view a  sample of research done on a particular auditing topic, that is issuance of audit report.


At the end of the seminar, students are required to be able to:


Ø      Discuss the important issues highlighted in the articles

Ø     Discuss the theories and methodologies used

Ø     Discuss the limitations of the research





The seminar will be conducted as follows:





9:00   – 9:15   a.m

Brief introduction of the overall expectation of seminar


9:15 - 10:15   a.m

Group presentation : Behavioral research on accounting


10: 15- 10:45 a.m

 Q & A


10:45- 11:00  a.m

Tea Break


11:00- 12:00 a.m

 Group presentation: Research on issuance of audit report                                        


12:00- 12:30  p.m

Q & A


12:30- 1:00  p.m

Recapitulation and conclusions




Required Readings: Behavioral  Research in Auditing


(1) Dyckman, Thomas R. (1998). The Ascendancy of the Behavioral Paradigm in Accounting: The Last 20 years, Behavioral Research in Accounting, Supplement, Vol. 10, 1-10.


(2) Abdel-khalik, A. Rashad (1994). Factors Limiting the Role of behavioral Research in Standard Setting. Behavioral Research in Accounting, Supplement Conference Papers, Vol.6, 213-222.



Seminar Questions:


1.      What are the important issues highlighted in the article?

  1. What is meant by behavioral research in auditing?
  2. Discuss the limitations and strengths of research in this area.


Required Readings: Research on issuance of audit report


(1) Lasalle, R.E and Anadarajan, Asokan (1996). Auditors’ View on the Type of Audit Report issued to Entities with Going Concern Uncertainties, Accounting Horizons,  June, Vol. 10, No. 2, 51-72.


(2) Noegler, George E.(1995). The Resolution of Auditor Going Concern Opinions, Auditing: A Journal of Practice & Theory , Fall , Vol. 14, No. 2, 54-73.


(3) Lasalle, R.E and Anadarajan, Asokan and Miller, Allie.F. (1996). Going Concern Uncertainties: Disclaimer of Opinion Versus Unqualified Opinion with Modified Wording,  Auditing: A Journal of Practice & Theory , Fall , Vol. 15, No. 2, 29- 48.


(4) Cushing, Barry E. and Ahlawat, Sunita S. (1996). Mitigation of Recency Bias in Audit Judgement: The Effect of Documentation, Auditing: A Journal of Practice & Theory , Fall , Vol. 15, No. 2, 110-122.



Seminar Questions:


      1.  What are the important issues highlighted in the articles?

  1. What are the theories and methodologies used?
  2. What are the similarities and differences of  articles (1) , (2) and (3)?
  3. How does article (4) has a bearing on  articles (1) to (3)?

5.   After going through the 4 articles and assuming you are interested to conduct a        study  on the topic, what would your initial  “theoretical framework” of the study and methodology be?



Seminar 6: Management Accounting and Control Systems; Contingency Theory


Otley, D.T. (1980). The Contingency Theory of Management Accounting: Achievement and Prognosis, Accounting, Organization and Society, 5 (4), 413-28.


Chenhall, R. and Morris, D. (1986), The Impact of Structure, Environment, and Indepenedence on the Perceived Usefulness of Management Accounting Systems, The Accounting Review, Vol. LX1, No. 1, 16-33.


Fry, L.W. and Smith, D.A. (1987), Congruence, Contingency, and Theory Building, Academy of Management Review, vol. 12, No. 1, 117-132.


Hoque, Z. and James, W. (2000), Linking Balanced Scorecard Measures to Size and Market Factors: Impact on Organizational Performance, Journal of Management Accounting Research, 1-17.



Seminar 7 and 8: Governance: Performance related pay


Chowdhury, D. and Hoque, Z. (1998), Profit Sharing and Corporate Performance: Some Evidence from Bangladesh, International Journal of Accounting, 33, 481.


Chowdhury, D. (1999). Performance Related Pay: An Assessment of Profit Sharing and Employee Share Ownership Schemes. Bureau of Business Research, University of Dhaka.