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Module Handbook

Accounting Research
Faculty Name

Academia Profile


Anup Kumar Saha ACMA

Assistant Professor,
Department of Accounting & Information Systems,
Jagannath University, Dhaka-1100, Bangladesh


Smith, M. (2015), Research Methods in Accounting, Third Edition, Sage

Publication, Delhi.


Selection of journal articles which will be provided in lectures.


One dissertation (max 8,500 words)


One research proposal (max 1,500 words)


To provide participants with the necessary training to undertake

advanced level research. The final research paper provides participants
with the opportunity to conduct an in-depth investigation at an advanced
level of an issue which is applicable and relevant to business and/or


Upon completion of the module participants should have gained an

understanding and be aware of the nature and scope of advanced
research in social sciences. Participants should also be able to effectively
organise, structure and manage a research project at an advanced level,
including undertaking critical appraisal of relevant literature and apply
critical judgement and discrimination. Finally, participants should have
developed the ability to operate independently on a research project and
exercise appropriate judgement in the selection of material.


The following table sets out the lectures to be delivered. These cover
background information on the research process, specific information on
accessing certain databases, and a series of examples of how to conduct
research in different areas relevant to business and accounting.


1. Introduction to Accounting research.

- Critical approach to accounting research A critical analysis of an accounting
research paper.
- Ranking of accounting journals ABS and ABDC.
- Three alternative research approaches Positivist, interpretive, and critical.


Chapter 01

1. Critically analyze a selected accounting paper - (Saha and Akter, 2013).
2. Find out ranking of the journal above.


Presentation Topics: Positivist, Interpretative and Critical theories.

At the end of this session you are supposed to be able to do or have knowledge of
followings: Critique a research paper; idea of peer reviewed and ranked journals; know
about accredited journal rankings; know about positivist, interpretive and critical approach of
Saha, A.K. and Akter, S. (2013), Corporate Governance and Voluntary Disclosure Practices
of Financial and Non-Financial Sector Companies in Bangladesh, Journal of Applied
Management Accounting Research, Vol. 11 No. 2, pp. 4561.
2.Research Idea Development.
- Sources of research idea Emergence of research topic.
- Research sequence plan with a Gantt chart.
- Research proposal.
- Positivist approach paper structure.
- Conceptual framework, measurement issues.
3. Prepare a research proposal on a selected topic.
4. Prepare a Gantt chart for your research plan.

Chapter 02
Appendix 2

At the end of this session you are supposed to be able to do or have knowledge of
followings: Preparing research proposals; plan your research; portray a Gantt chart for your
research plan; find out sources for a new idea for your next research.
Clarkson, M.B.E. (1995), A stakeholder framework for analyzing and evaluating corporate
social performance, Academy of Management Review, Vol. 20 No. 1, pp. 92117.
3.Theory, Literature and Hypotheses
- Theory Agency theory, Institutional theory, Legitimacy theory, Signalling theory,
Stakeholder theory, Stewardship theory etc (Gray et al., 1995a, 2010).
- Literature search Databases, What to read and look for (Gray et al., 1995b).
- Databases- WRDS, Thomson one, Datastream, Bloomberg, Lexis Nexis etc.

Chapter 03
(Rankin et

Hypothesis Null and alternative hypotheses, Type1 and type 2 errors.

Causal relationship, Variable dependent, independent, control/ influential/
moderating variables.
Reliability Krippedndorfs Alpha (Krippendorf, 1980).

al., 2011)

5. Apply theory to support your research idea presented earlier in your proposal.
6. Cite all literature available to support the theory. Use appropriate database for literature
Presentation Topics: Institutional theory, Validity issues internal and external validity.
At the end of this session you are supposed to be able to do or have knowledge on
followings: Know and use appropriate theoretical frameworks for your research; know about
good databases to find data for your study- where to find data (to know further in details
about databases, please contact the instructor for a separate module on databases); setting
hypotheses for your research in null and alternative form; set up your own research
multivariate model with a constant, variables, dependent variable, independent variables and
moderating variables.
Gray, R., Kouhy, R. and Lavers, S. (1995a), Methodological themes: Constructing a
research database of social and environmental reporting by UK companies,
Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Vol. 8 No. 2, pp. 78101.
Gray, R., Kouhy, R. and Lavers, S. (1995b), Corporate social and environmental reporting: a
review of the literature and a longitudinal study of UK disclosure, Accounting, Auditing
& Accountability Journal, Vol. 8 No. 2, pp. 4777.
Gray, R., Owen, D. and Adams, C. (2010), Some theories for social accounting?: a review
essay and a tentative pedagogic categorization of theorizations around social
accounting, Sustainability, Environmental Performance and Disclosures, Emerald
Group Publishing, Bingley, Vol. 4, pp. 154.
Krippendorf, K. (1980), Content Analysis: An Introduction to Its Methodology, edited by Kline,
F.G., Sage Publication, Inc., California.
Rankin, M., Windsor, C. and Wahyuni, D. (2011), An investigation of voluntary corporate
greenhouse gas emissions reporting in a market governance system: Australian
evidence, Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Vol. 24 No. 8, pp. 10371070.
4.Sample Selection and Measurement Data Collection
- Choosing a research method- how much by regression, what experimental, what
do you think by interview and surveys, and unique situation by case study.
- Sample selection Cost benefit analysis of large sample, data trimming, winsorising.
- Measurement issues, Data scaling Nominal, ordinal, interval and ratio, Likert scale,
Semantic differential.
- Data normality, histogram, parametric and non parametric data.
- Data management Variable definition, Excel / Access / SPSS/ STATA. Missing
data, entry errors, corruption.

Chapter 05
et al., 2005)

7. Choose appropriate research method for earlier proposed research.

8. Collect data for the same research.
Presentation Topics: Semantic differential method of data collection.
At the end of this session you are supposed to be able to do or have knowledge on
followings: Data management; qualitative data collection tools, dealing with outliers- data
trimming and data winsorising; identify situations when you can use numeric data, interview
and case study for your research; get familiar with statistical software you may consider to
use for your data analysis; types of data scales available.
Hasseldine, J., Salama, A. and Toms, J.S. (2005), Quantity versus quality: the impact of
environmental disclosures on the reputations of UK Plcs, The British Accounting
Review, Vol. 37 No. 2, pp. 231248.
Hussainey, K. and Salama, A. (2010), The importance of corporate environmental reputation
to investors, Journal of Applied Accounting Research, Vol. 11 No. 3, pp. 229241.
5.Quantitative Data Analysis
- Descriptive analysis, univariate analysis - Chi square, T test, Paired t test, Mann
Whitney U test, Kruskal Wallis test, Wilcoxon ranked test, ANOVA. Parametric and
non parametric data.
- Bivariate tests - cross tabulation, correlation analysis, Pearson R, Spearman Rho.
- Multivariate analysis Regression OLS, Robust regression, Time series, Panel
data, Discriminant analysis, Tobit, Logit, Probit, SEM, MANOVA.
- Hypothesis testing; issues normality, multicollinearity, heteroskedasticity,

Chapter 06
(Toms, 2002)

9. Analyse your data collected earlier for the proposed research.
10. Present the descriptive and inferential statistics for your research.
At the end of this session you are supposed to be able to do or have knowledge on
followings: do univariate, bivariate and multivariate analysis on your quantitative data for
your research; know which test is good for your type of data; test for suitability of your data
for multivariate regression analysis; advanced regression tools available; problems of
missing data, data corruption and entry errors.
Toms, J.S. (2002), Firm resources, quality signals and the determinants of corporate
environmental reputation: Some UK evidence, British Accounting Review, Vol. 34 No.
3, pp. 257282.

6.Qualitative Data Analysis

- Data management Software Nvivo. (Note - Nvivo is free for a limited period of
time and can be downloaded from internet).
- Content analysis (Beck et al., 2010; Guthrie and Abeysekera, 2006; Weber, 1988).
- Inter-coder reliability (Krippendorf, 1980).

Chapter 07

Alternative to content analysis.

Discourse analysis, grounded theory.

Presentation Topics: Grounded theory.

and Milne,
(Beck et al.,

11. Do a content analysis for your research (if needed). You may follow Hackston and Milne
(1996), which is a seminal paper for content analysis.
12. Take an annual report of any company. Use content analysis to quantify the data. You
volumetric and qualitative method both.
At the end of this session you are supposed to be able to do or have knowledge on
followings: quantify your qualitative data for statistical testing; software that can be used for
qualitative research (to know further in details about Nvivo, please contact the instructor for a
separate module specially designed on Nvivo); use indices to do volumetric or qualitative
measure for quantifying your qualitative data; test for reliability of your coding.
Alotaibi, K. and Hussainey, K. (2016), Quantity Versus Quality: the Value Relevance of Csr
Disclosure of Saudi Companies, Corporate Ownership and Control Journal, Vol. 13 No.
2, pp. 167179.
Beck, A.C., Campbell, D. and Shrives, P.J. (2010), Content analysis in environmental
reporting research: enrichment and rehearsal of the method in a British German
context, British Accounting Review, Elsevier Ltd, Vol. 42, pp. 207222.

Guthrie, J. and Abeysekera, I. (2006), Content analysis of social, environmental

reporting: what is new?, Journal of Human Resource Costing & Accounting,
Vol. 10 No. 2, pp. 114126.
Hackston, D. and Milne, M.J. (1996), Some determinants of social and environmental
disclosures in New Zealand companies, Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal,
Vol. 9 No. 1, pp. 77108.
Krippendorf, K. (1980), Content Analysis: An Introduction to Its Methodology, edited by Kline,
F.G., Sage Publication, Inc., California.
Weber, R.P. (1988), Basic Content Analysis, edited by Sullivan, J.L. and Niemi, R.G.Sage
University Paper Series on Quantitative Applications in the Social Sciences, Sage
Publication, Inc., London.
7.How to Publish Your Research?
- Why publish?
- Where to publish? Books, book chapters, commissioned reports, referred journal
articles, professional journal articles and conference papers.
- What to publish?
- How to publish? Submitting and review response.
13. Submit your paper to an ABS or ABDC ranked journal for academic publication.
At the end of this session you are supposed to be able to do or have knowledge on

Chapter 13
Appendix 1

(Parker et al.,
1998; Parker,

followings: Why? Where? What? And How to publish?

Parker, L., Guthrie, J. and Gray, R. (1998), Accounting and management research:
passwords from the gatekeepers, Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Vol.
11 No. 4, pp. 371406.
Parker, L.D. (2012), Qualitative management accounting research: Assessing deliverables
and relevance, Critical Perspectives on Accounting, Elsevier Ltd, Vol. 23 No. 1, pp. 54
8.What to expect during your PhD ? (optional, for potential PhD researchers in North
America, UK and Australia)
- Getting a supervisor, what to (and not to) expect from supervisors, managing
relationship with your supervisors, independent nature of research
- Examination process, how to assign an examiner, how to design your thesis, what
are musts for your thesis? How the examination goes? How to pass?

Chapter 12

At the end of this session you are supposed to be able to do or have knowledge on
followings: manage your expectation from your supervisor, respond to the expectation of
your supervisor from you, prepare yourself for the examination process.

9.Archival Research (optional, if you are interested to know more on archival research)

Cross section data, time series data and panel data analysis
Where to collect data from? Archival sources of data COMUSTAT, BLOOMBERG,
WRDS, Thomson research etc, Lexis Nexis.
Content analysis.

Chapter 11
(Salama et
al., 2011)

Presentation Topics: Rhetoric, Impression management, Understandability as alternatives

of count measures of Content analysis.
At the end of this session you are supposed to be able to do or have knowledge on
followings: Where to collect data from? What are the types of research possible from
archival sources of data?
Salama, A., Anderson, K. and Toms, J.S. (2011), Does community and environmental
responsibility affect firm risk? Evidence from UK panel data 1994-2006, Business
Ethics: A European Review, Vol. 20 No. 2, pp. 192204.
Elshandidy, T., Fraser, I. and Hussainey, K. (2013), Aggregated, voluntary, and mandatory
risk disclosure incentives: Evidence from UK FTSE all-share companies, International
Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier Inc., Vol. 30, pp. 320333.
10.Survey Research (optional, if you want to do a research based on surveys or
Chapter 09

Mail surveys, pilot testing.


(Islam and

At the end of this session you are supposed to be able to do or have knowledge on
followings: How to do surveys and interview research?


Islam, M.A. and Deegan, C. (2008), Motivations for an organisation within a developing
country to report social responsibility information Evidence from Bangladesh,
Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Vol. Vol. 21 No. 6, pp. pp. 850874.
11.Qualitative Methods (optional, in case you are interested in a qualitative research
case study or field study)
Chapter 10

Field work
Case study

(Gray et al.,

At the end of this session you are supposed to be able to do or have knowledge on
followings: How to do field studies and case studies?
Gray, R., Kouhy, R. and Lavers, S. (1995b), Corporate social and environmental reporting: a
review of the literature and a longitudinal study of UK disclosure, Accounting, Auditing
& Accountability Journal, Vol. 8 No. 2, pp. 4777.
12.Experimental Research (optional, if your research is an experimental one)
14. Read and find out what process Elliott et al. (2014) and Maglike et al. (2009) follow to do
their experimental research.
At the end of this session you are supposed to be able to do or have knowledge on:
how to do experimental research in accounting.

Chapter 08
(Ingram and

Elliott, W.B., Jackson, K.E., Peecher, M.E. and White, B.J. (2014), The unintended effect of
Corporate Social Responsibility performance on investors estimates of fundamental
value, Accounting Review, Vol. 89 No. 1, pp. 275302.
Ingram, R.W. and Frazier, K.B. (1980), Environmental performance and corporate
disclosure, Journal of Accounting Research, Vol. 18 No. 2, pp. 614623.
Maglike, M.J., Mayhew, B.W. and Pike, J.E. (2009), Are independent audit committee
members objective? Experiment evidence, Accounting Review, Vol. 84 No. 6, pp.
Sessions provide a structured programme of work designed to reinforce knowledge and encourage
independent study. The tasks for these sessions are given in this handbook. All participants are expected
to respond to all tasks required for each session and be prepared to enter into discussion and
presentation of the issues. The member of staff in charge of the session will take a lead, but participants
are expected to make major contributions.

In addition to attending sessions and undertaking preparation for sessions and mid and final
assessments, participants are expected to undertake independent reading and learning. As a guide,
this module requires 50 hours of Student Learning Activity Time (SLAT). The SLAT hours include all
formal contact hours and the time devoted to background reading, and all preparation and reading time
associated both with the formal contact hours and the midterm and final assessments (including tasks).
You are expected of at least 3 hours of home reading for each hour of class room lecture.


The research proposal involved in this research module, is designed to offer participants the
opportunity to demonstrate their ability to identify a specific issue in business/accounting which
they potentially wish to investigate. In this research proposal you choose a topic or issue in
business/accounting, critically evaluate the current state of the literature on that issue, and
formulate a research question. This will normally involve an evaluation of the theory or the
empirical evidence with respect to the issue under investigation. This will allow you quickly to
begin substantive work on your final research. The research proposal should be of no more than
1,500 words in length.
The project may be seen as comprising at least two main elements:

A statement of the particular issue of business/accounting to be addressed: this will

include the questions(s) proposed for future research, the aims and objectives of such
potential research, the importance of those questions and the potential role of
business/accounting theory in answering the question(s).


A critical review of the relevant literature, theoretical or applied: this section will identify in
detail what conclusions, if any, are possible given the current state of the literature and will
seek to identify what are the strengths and weaknesses of that literature. This section will
conclude with an indication of the extent to which further theoretical or empirical work,
using either different techniques and/or using different data sets from those in the existing
literature, has the potential for furthering our understanding of the phenomenon chosen for

The project should be typed, well presented and structured and should be typewritten, doublespaced; Appendices should only be used when judged to be strictly necessary to the
understanding of the project. The work should include footnotes where appropriate and all
references should be included in a properly constructed reference list.
The final research paper includes an 8,500-word dissertation. This provides an opportunity for
you to investigate in greater depth a subject that you have already studied as part of this
module. The work will enable you to exercise critical judgement and illustrate how economic
analysis has relevance to financial decision taking.

The research must be clear, well written and structured. Reference to sources of information
and the works of other authors should ensure ease of identification and a list of references
should be included. The subject should be dealt with in a competent and scholarly manner. The
candidate is expected to display critical discrimination and a sense of proportion in evaluating
evidence and the opinions of others.

To provide students with the necessary training to undertake advanced-level research;

To provide students with an advanced understanding of the relevance and importance of

alternative epistemological positions in the social sciences and the nature of both qualitative
and quantitative approaches to research;

To develop students understanding at an advanced level of the nature of research in the

social sciences, by examining the study skills necessary to manage and undertake a
research project;

To provide students with opportunities to be familiar with the frontier empirical and
theoretical research;

To provide students with the opportunity to conduct an in-depth investigation at an

advanced level of an issue which is applicable and relevant to the degree for which they are
registered. The positioning of the dissertation at the end of the programme is intended to
promote integration of material covered in the core and optional modules.

Undertaking research: an overview of the nature of research in the social sciences;

epistemological issues; the relationships between interests, topics, questions, problems and
hypotheses; sources of information; claims and evidence; reviewing the field; qualitative
and quantitative research;

Making use of and managing library facilities, databases and other learning resources;

Planning a research project;

Methodological issues in research: issues in designing and undertaking quantitative and

qualitative research and experimental research and the relationships between these

Reviewing the literature and finding the research questions;

The dissertation and the research process;

Applications of advanced principles, concepts and methods to select a relevant topic. This
will involve presentations of empirical and theoretical research at the frontiers of the
subject as well as reviews of selected seminal papers. Topics will reflect the research
interests of the School.

The dissertation topic, which should be one that is suitable for in-depth investigation, is
chosen by the participant.
Learning Outcomes of the Dissertation
Subject-specific Knowledge:

To have gained an understanding and be aware of the nature and scope of advanced
research in the social sciences;
To be aware of the significance of alternative epistemological positions when designing and
undertaking research;
To be aware of, and familiar with, the facilities available for conducting literature searches
and obtaining relevant data to facilitate empirical investigation;

To have a critical understanding of a relevant topic and the most appropriate techniques of

Subject-specific Skills:

To be able to effectively organize, structure and manage a research project at an advanced

level, including undertaking critical appraisal of relevant literature, and apply critical
judgment and discrimination;
To have developed the ability to operate independently on a research topic and exercise
appropriate judgment in the selection of material;
To have further developed the skills of inquiry, quantitative and qualitative research design,
experimental research, data collection and information retrieval, bibliographic search,
measurement and analysis, interpretation and presentation of results;
To have developed advanced skills of research, analysis and scholarly expression in a
chosen topic.

Style and Format

Students are requested to pay particular attention to the following points concerning the
arrangement of the dissertation:

All Tables and Figures should be numbered and placed in the appropriate position in the
text, rather than at the end of chapters or dissertation. The numbering should refer to
the relevant chapter; for example, Table 3.1 would refer to Table 1 of Chapter 3. Give all
Tables and Figures a title and refer to them in the text: remember that data never speak
for themselves. Also remember to provide an explanation of the meaning of any symbol
or abbreviation used, and specify the source of information.


Logic, clarity and precision in the written text are important. It is wisest to avoid personal
pronouns, gerunds, exclamation marks, clichs, and excessive use of capital letters and
note form. Care should be taken with grammar, spelling and punctuation. For guidance
on writing style, see:
Fowler, HW and FG Fowler (1984) Dictionary of Modern English Usage. Omega.
Gowers, E (1986) The Complete Plain Words. HMSO, 3rd edition.
Turabian, KL (1987) A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses and
Dissertations. Heinemann.

Spell-checks should be run on the work.

References and Footnotes
When referring to publications in the text, you can either give the date of publication in
parentheses after the name of the author, or put both the name and date in parentheses
separated by a comma. For example: "Miller (1969) showed that ..."; or "Empirical evidence
shows that (Miller, 1969; and Modigliani, 1972). Further details of the publications referred
to in the text must be given in a separate list of references (see below). You may also give a
page number after the date, if appropriate. Always give the precise sources of all quotations.
Students should note that the General Regulations of the University now include the following:

"In formal examinations and all assessed work prescribed in degree, diploma and
certificate regulations, candidates should take care to acknowledge the work and
opinions of others and avoid any appearance of representing them as their own.
Unacknowledged quotation or close paraphrasing of other people's writing, amounting to
the presentation of other persons' thoughts or writings as one's own, is plagiarism and will
be penalised. In extreme cases, plagiarism may be classed as a dishonest practice under
Section IV, 2(a) (viii) of the General Regulations and may lead to expulsion. The
facilitation of plagiarism through publication may also be classed as a dishonest practice
under Section IV, 2(a) (ix) of the General Regulations and may lead to expulsion."
Details that may interrupt the flow of the text can be placed in footnotes, which should be
flagged at the appropriate point in the text by a superscript. Number the footnotes consecutively
through each chapter. Most word processing packages will provide automatic numbering. It is
preferable to use footnotes placed at the bottom of the appropriate page, than endnotes placed
at the end of each chapter.
Students should provide a list of references, arranged in alphabetical order, by author at the end
of your dissertation. These should be written in the following style.

For articles in Journals:

NAME, A (Year of Publication) Title of Article, Journal, Volume No., page start-end.
Notice that the title immediately follows the year of publication and the name of the
Journal is italic.


For Books or pamphlets:

NAME, A (Year of Publication) Title of Book. Place of publication: publisher.
Notice that in this case the title of the book is in italic.


For web based sources:

Please consult Harvard or APA style of referencing.

N.B. This handbook is intended for the guidance of participants taking this module. Whilst the details
contained in this handbook represent teaching staff intentions at the time of writing, it is in the nature of
higher education that some module information, such as syllabus, reading lists and assignments, may be
subject to modifications during the teaching of a module. Teaching staff reserve the right to make such
minor changes in the matters covered by this publication and will endeavour to publicise any such
changes as widely and timely as possible.


1. Starting your doctorate (3 hours approx)

2. The Basis of Thesis Writing (3 hours approx)
3. Increasing the impact of journal articles (3 hours approx)
4. Google Scholar and the academic web (3 hours approx)
5. Finding and managing information for your doctorate (3 hours approx)
6. Maximising cite-ability (3 hours approx)
7. Author metrics Citation metrics (3 hours approx)
8. Communicating your research to the public (3 hours approx)
9. Networking and Making the Most of Conferences (3 hours approx)
10. Library management software Zotero and / or Mendeley (3 hours approx)
11. Advanced Excel (4 to 5 hours approx)
12. Research writing software Latex (3 hours approx)
13. Application for fellowship (3 hours approx)
14. Quantitative research (Flexible 1 to 5 sessions)
15. Academic Careers Outside the UK: Europe, North America, Australia, Middle & Far East
(3 hours approx)
16. Publishing your Research: Research Data Management (3 hours approx)
17. Publishing your Research: Bibliometrics, Journal Impact Factors and Maximising the
Cite-ability of Journal Articles (3 hours approx)
18. Publishing your Research: Open Access - What is it and what requirements do you need
to meet? (3 hours approx)
19. Organising Events and Conferences (3 hours approx)
20. Copyright for Researchers (3 hours approx)
21. Writing for Publication in Social Sciences (3 hours approx)
22. Managing Your Research Project (3 hours approx)
23. Keeping Up to Date with Research Information (3 hours approx)
24. Introduction to Applied Quantitative Data Analysis for the Social Sciences (Flexible 1 to 5
25. STATA details (Flexible 1 to 12 sessions)
26. SPSS more Advanced Tools (Flexible 1 to 12 sessions)
27. Introduction to Nvivo (4 hours approx)
28. Introduction to Endnote (4 hours approx)
29. Beyond Academic Literature: Discovering Doctoral Theses, Navigating News
Resources, Exploring e-books and Cruising for Conference Papers (3 hours approx)
30. The International Teaching Assistant (3 hours approx)
31. Econometrics for Business Research (Flexible 1 to 5 sessions)
32. How to get admission and funding in US and UK universities? (4 hours approx)