Oct. 29, 2021Print | PDF
Brigham Young University has recognized the Lazaridis School of Business and Economics at Wilfrid Laurier University for excellence in accounting research. The rankings are based on classifications of peer-reviewed articles in 12 top accounting journals, with Lazaridis Accounting professors ranked among the top 10 in Canada in Tax, Managerial Accounting, Audit, Accounting Information Systems, and overall accounting research. Lazaridis professors ranked No. 2 in Managerial Accounting in Canada, but even more impressive, our professors ranked No. 40 globally for Managerial Accounting research.
Leslie Berger, associate professor of Accounting, said that the news is exciting for everyone at the Lazaridis School. “It’s such a thrill to see Laurier ranked so well amongst highly respected schools. I’m incredibly proud of the Accounting area. It’s a reflection on the great research team that we have in the Accounting area and a metric that speaks to the quality of work that’s happening right now” Berger said.
The Lazaridis School has several tenure-track research positions to provide faculty with opportunities to advance accounting in Canada and the world. Berger said that the university has a number of Accounting faculty members currently engaged in vital research.
“Research is one of the things that is expected, encouraged and supported by Laurier,” Berger said.
The Brigham Young University rankings are exciting for the Lazaridis School because they are based on the top 12 peer-reviewed journals globally.
“What makes these journals special is that their review processes are very rigorous and they demand a very high quality of research. Really good science, really thoughtful, careful work. That takes a lot of effort, skill and expertise on the part of the researchers to be able to pull that together. To have papers accepted into the top tier journals is a signal of quality research,” Berger said.
For Berger, the news is a signal of great work and the quality of faculty at the Lazaridis School — including her colleague Darren Henderson, associate professor of Accounting. Henderson is the William Birchall Foundation Fellow in Accounting and Berger is a KPMG Foundation Fellow in Accounting.
“These journals are recognized by any metric as being some of the highest quality journals in the world, and we’re getting published in them with regularity,” Henderson said.
He said that the rankings also recognize the real-world implications of the research that Lazaridis professors produce. Some of that research includes a recent paper on how merit can perpetuate gender biases from Professor Bruce McConomy, another on pay inequity between the top and bottom levels in an organization from Associate Professor Lan Guo, and research on tax fairness from Associate Professor Jonathan Farrar.
One of those areas with real-world implications that Henderson focuses on is the global supply chain — an area of concern for consumers and businesses in the wake of shipping issues due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s an area of research he described as straddling both accounting and operations research.
“With supply chain, we’re looking at upstream relationships with suppliers, downstream relationships with customers, and considering how the concentration of those relationships affects the performance of the firm sitting in the middle,” Henderson said.
Real-world implications are also at the top of Berger’s research in Managerial Accounting. Berger is currently researching whistleblowing and knowledge sharing in the workplace, a topic that has garnered significant media attention in the last few years.
“When you witness fraud or wrongdoing in the workplace, when do you come forward and tell? How do you share that information? I find this area of the control system to be fascinating with respect to what influences people to come forward or why people decide to keep information to themselves and not report it,” Berger said.
Her research has also looked at how whistleblowing occurs within the Canada Revenue Agency. The agency has a system for taxpayers to report fraudulent returns or information, and Berger is looking into what influences people to make a report. “I’m looking into the things that influence people to come forward, but also thinking about how the knowledge of a whistleblowing program influences people’s behaviours,” Berger said.
Having great researchers at the front of the classroom is something Berger says is excellent for Lazaridis School students.
“It all comes together — this practical experience and this idea of what’s coming next from research. I can talk about an accounting control in the classroom and what I’ve been researching — it adds an important dimension to the conversation.” Berger said.
Both Berger and Henderson are proud of the Brigham Young Rankings and what they mean for the university.
“This is a signal that the work we’re doing has value. We’re contributing to the accounting literature in a good way and we’re getting recognized. It’s a sign of the quality of researchers that we have at Laurier,” Berger said.
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