May 29, 2017 08:50 PM

The Doctorate in Accountancy in Europe: 4.0

Posted by Willem Buijink

Apart from taking a stand on the design of an Accountancy Doctorate/PhD in Europe, there is something else that the EAA (community) should address relevant for that Doctorate.

That is the (very) low Doctorate Propensity in Accountancy in Europe.

That topic deserves a further series of posts, but I will just do the introduction to the problem here in 2 posts.

Doctorate propensity in an academic area is the number of Doctorates in that area divided by the relevant Master degrees (or Bachelor degrees in countries where a Master degree is not customary such as the UK and the USA).

The EAA is a 'Learned Society': an association devoted to fundamental and applied learning about Accountancy. It should be concerned about the creation of its young researchers: the number of new Doctors/PhD's each year.

To see the issue consider the numbers I gave in an earlier post:

There are 310 Schools in the EU+ that offer a Doctoral/PhD degree in Accountancy. Suppose each of these Schools 'produces' 10 new Doctors in Accountancy. That would total to 3000+. If we then know the number of relevant MSc, Business and Economics,  in the same year, we could calculate Accountancy's Doctorate Propensity. I could not find that number for the EU+. But I can do the, rough, calculation for the Netherlands as an example. Suppose the relevant eight Schools in the Netherlands (Nyenrode included and Rotterdam twice) produce 10 new Doctors in Accountancy annually: in total 80, also in 2016. In 2016 the number of MSc degrees awarded in the Netherlands was, in the three areas mentioned, 8500. So Accountancy's Doctorate Propensity would be 0,1%.

Narrowing it down to Accountancy Masters does not help much. I could not find the exact number, but using an average of 100 new Masters in Accountancy for the same 8 Schools gives 800 new MSc in Accountancy in 2016. Again, I do not have the exact number, but my estimate of the actual total number of Accountancy Doctorates in the Netherlands is 16: 2 per School. So the Accountancy Doctorate Propensity in the Netherlands is between 0,1 and 2%. In Europe it will be a similar percentage. In German speaking countries it will be somewhat higher.

Is this a low Doctorate Propensity? The question obviously compared to what ?: doctorate propensity in other areas of business research ?; in North America, Asia, Australia ? I am almost certain it is.

I see 2 tasks for the EAA:

  1. organize a more precise measurement of the Doctorate Propensity in Accountancy in Europe (in a comparative fashion, say with Finance, as a comparable nearby area and with, say, North-America)
  2. determine its causes and then remedy.
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About Willem Buijink

Open University Of The Netherlands
Professor of Accounting, Open Universiteit, Heerlen, The Netherlands

Professor of Accounting, Open Universiteit Heerlen, Department of Accounting and Finance, 2015-present. Before that I was Professor of Business Economics, Universiteit Tilburg, 2001-2016; Professor of Business Economics, Universiteit Maastricht,...

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