Policing Accounting Knowledge: The Market for Excuses Affair

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Tony Tinker, Anthony G. Puxty
M. Wiener Publishers, 1995 - Business & Economics - 270 pages
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What becomes "knowledge" in accounting research is primarily what is published in leading journals. One source of conflict is the control that academic institutions exercise over spreading the public validity of knowledge claims. The arguments have been long on rhetoric, short on evidence. In 1979 the Accounting Review published a controversial paper by Ross L. Watts and Jerold L. Zimmerman entitled The Demand and Supply of Accounting Theories: The Market for Excuses. It won the Notable Contribution to Accounting Theory Award despite the rift it caused within the academic profession. Controversies split the academy, particularly when distinguished commentators on Watts and Zimmerman were unable to have their stories published in the scholarly literature. Policing Accounting Knowledge offers a valuable case study and analysis of the way in which accounting knowledge is controlled.

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