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Student Research: Bentley Doctoral Programs in Accountancy and Business

PhD Director: Martin Conyon

Bentley’s small and highly selective doctoral programs in accountancy and business combine the best features of European and American doctoral studies. Like European programs, Bentley’s offerings stress mentoring relationships with faculty along with independent research; like US doctoral programs, they emphasize the acquisition of subject-based and methodological knowledge. The business degree is intentionally interdisciplinary, encompassing a core of economics, organization theory and information systems. The accountancy degree has a more traditional disciplinary focus but, like the business degree, requires coursework in business ethics and corporate social responsibility. Both provide method and methodology courses, including qualitative and quantitative that ensure students acquire the necessary research skills to conduct their own research.

In addition to a range of required core classes, the programs are tailored to the unique interests of the students and provide them with the opportunity to pursue independent study matching their research and career ambitions. Students achieve mastery of their area of specialization by working closely with faculty mentors – indeed, students are admitted contingent on a faculty member agreeing to serve as primary advisor. Students also understand the importance of teaching; they take a teaching seminar, shadow a class in the second year, teach it during their third year and then teach two courses per year for the remainder of the program.

Although the university provides research stipends to many of its doctoral students, some are supported through external funding. This includes the Geneen Charitable Trust and Bentley’s Rauch Endowment.

Bentley’s doctoral programs have matriculated 75 students since their launch in 2006, with 28 graduates who have secured positions at the following colleges and universities: Brown, Bryant, California State Channel Islands, Clark, the College of Charleston, the Copenhagen Business School, Florida Gulf Coast, Florida International, Massachusetts at Dartmouth, Northeastern, Providence, the Rochester Institute of Technology, Suffolk, Texas State, Villanova, West Virginia, and Woodbury.  Eighty-five per cent of Bentley’s doctoral graduates hold full-time academic positions, with the remainder in the corporate sector.

Bentley PhD Council Members

Martin Conyon, PhD Director
Michael QuinnEconomics
Mohammad Abdolmohammadi, John E. Rhodes Professor of Accounting, Accountancy
Jean Bedard, Timothy B. Harbert Professor of Accountancy, Accountancy
Pierre Berthon, Clifford F. Youse Chair of Marketing & Strategy, Marketing/IDCC
Cynthia Clark, Management
Daniel EverettDean of Arts & Sciences; Interm Co-Provost – ex officio
Dominique HaughtonMathematical Sciences
M. Lynne Markus, John W. Poduska Senior Professor of Information and Process Management, IPM
Joseph Newpol, Law, Tax & Financial Planning – Senate Chair ex officio
Roy (Chip) Wiggins III, Dean of Business and the McCallum Graduate School of Business; Interim Co-Provost – ex officio
Sam Woolford, Mathematical Sciences


Sample Doctoral Student Journal Publications

  • Lowwry, P. B., Twyman, N., Pickard, M., Jenkins, J., Bui, Q. (2014). “Proposing the Affect-Trust Infusion Model (ATIM) to Explain and Predict the Influence of High- and Low-Affect Infusion on Web-Vendor Trust.” Information & Management, 51(5), 579-594.
  • Karpovsky, A., Galliers, R. D., JIT. (2013). “Aligning in Practice.”  Special Issue on Strategic Alignment Workshop, Journal of Information Technology, Milan, Italy, "
  • Melo, L., Quinn, M. A. (in press). “Oil, Foreign Direct Investment and Corruption in Developing Countries.” To appear in International Journal of Business and Finance Research, 9(1).
  • Markus, M. Lynne, Mentzer, K. (in press). “Foresight for a Responsible Future with ICT.”  To appear in Information Systems Frontiers.
  • Ottley, G., Sisodia, R., Buono, A. F. (in press). “Student Beliefs and Attitudes toward Business: Shaping the Views of First Year Business Students - A Preliminary Study.”  To appear in SAM Advanced Management Journal.
  • Stein, M.K., Galliers, R. D., Markus, M. Lynne (2013). “Towards an Understanding of Identity and Technology in the Workplace.” Journal of Information Technology, 28(3), 167-182.
  • Arumugam, S., Haughton, D. M., Vasanthi, B., Zhang, C. (2014). “Reciprocity in Social Networks - A Case Study in Tamil Nadu, India.” Case Studies in Business, Industry and Government, 5(2), 126-131.

book chapters

  • Burke, J., Clark, C. (in press). “Boards and Shareholders:  Bridging the Divide.” Shareholder Empowerment. Palgrave-Macmillan.
  • Karpovsky, A., Hallanoro, M., Galliers, R. D. (in press). “The Process of Information Systems Strategizing: Review and Synthesis.” In Cohen, R., Topi, H. & Tucker, A. (Ed.), Information Systems and Information Technology (vol. 2). London: Chapman & Hall.

Sample Proceedings and Presentations

  • Bui, Q., Academy of Management, Orlando, Florida, "Rhetorical Persuasion throughout the Diffusion Process: Creating a Compelling Cognitive-Institutional Account for Widespread Adoption.” (2013).
  • Abdolmohammadi, M. J., Desimone, S., Annual Meeting, American Accounting Association, Anaheim, "Factors Associated with CSR Audits by Internal Auditors.” (2013).
  • Abdolmohammadi, M. J., Desimone, S., Center for Social and Environmental Accounting Research (CSEAR), University of San Diego, San Diego, California.  "Factors Associated with CSR Audits by Internal Auditors.” (2013).
  • Hoitash, R., Garrett, J., 11th Annual International Conference on Finance, Athens, Greece, "Industry Expertise on Corporate Boards.” (2013).
  • Garrett, J., Hoitash, R., Prawitt, D. F., AAA Auditing Section Midyear Conference, AAA Auditing Section, New Orleans, LA, "Trust and Financial Reporting Quality.” (2013).
  • Gogan, J. L., McLaughlin, M.-D., Morley, S., 21st European Conference on Information Systems, Utrecht, Netherlands, "Complementary Resources and A Multi-Hospital Emergency Medicine System Pilot Test.” (2013).
  • Junaid, N., Leung, O., Buono, A. F., Eastern Academy of Management, Eastern Academy of Management, Newport, RI, "Institutionalization or Decoupling?: An Exploratory Analysis of the UN Global Compact LEAD Initiative.” (2014).
  • Karpovsky, A., Stein, M., Galliers, R. D., International Conference on Organization Learning, Knowledge and Capabilities (OLKC), Olso, Norway, "Learning towards ambidexterity. Cases on Information Systems Strategizing: A Meta-ethnography.” (2014).
  • Karpovsky, A., Galliers, R. D., 34th International Conference on Information Systems, Milan, Italy, "The Power and Influence of Chief Information Officers (CIOs) in IS Strategizing.”  (2013).
  • Leung, O., Organizational Behavior Teaching Conference, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, "A Project-Based Organizational Behavior Course.” (2014).
  • Leung, O., Adams, S. M., Junaid, N., Mullane, K. (in press). “Stop the Weather Reports.” AOM.
  • Markus, M. Lynne, Jacobson, D., Bui, Q., Mentzer, K., Lisein, O., 21st European Conference on Information Systems, Utrecht, The Netherlands, "IT Centralization and Enterprise-Wide Capabilities and Outcomes: A Public Sector Study.”  (2013).
  • Markus, M. Lynne, Jacobson, D., Bui, Q., Lisein, O., Mentzer, K., GT GRH Publique, Liege, Belgium, "Design of the IT Management Arrangements in the Post NPM Context.” (2013).
  • Markus, M. Lynne, Mentzer, K., Professional Development Workshop, Academy of Management Annual Meeting, Orlando, FL, "Future Search: Research about ICT and the Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism.” (2013).
  • Markus, M. Lynne, Mentzer, K., Digital Societies and Sociotechnical Systems (DSST) 2013, NSF and University of Maryland, College Park, MD, "Design for a Better Future: Are Today's Sociotechnical Methods Adequate?” (2013).
  • Markus, M. Lynne, Jacobson, D., Bui, Q., Mentzer, K., Lisein, O. (2013). “Organizational and Institutional Arrangements for e-Government: A Preliminary Report on Contemporary IT Management Approaches in US State Governments.” Proceedings of the 2013 Hawaii International Conference on Systems Sciences (pp. 2090-2100).
  • McLaughlin, M.-D., Cisco SecCon 2013, Boxboro, MA, "Security Mining 101: An Introduction to Text Mining for Security Teams.” (2013).
  • McLaughlin, M.-D., Cisco SecCon 2013, Boxboro, MA, "Product Security Vulnerabilities and You: Participating in the Vulnerability Management Process.” (2013).
  • McLaughlin, M.-D., Gogan, J. L., 26th Bled eConference, Bled, Slovenia, "Complementary Resource Effects Across Organizational Boundaries and the Remediation of Security Incidents.” (2013).
  • Melo, L., Annual Meeting, June 2014, Academy of International Business, Vancouver, Canada, "Board Composition and Ownership in EMNEs of the Global 500: Between Performance and Internationalization.” (2014).
  • Rose, J. M., Parlee, M., Thibodeau, J. C., 2014 Auditing Midyear Meeting, San Antonio, TX, "“Metaphors and Auditor Professional Judgment: Can Metaphors Activate Professionally Skeptical Mindsets?” (2014).
  • Parlee, M., Rose, J. M., Thibodeau, J. C., 2014 Auditing Symposium, Deloitte Foundation/University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS, "Metaphors and Auditor Professional Judgment: Can Non-Conscious Primes Activate Professionally Skeptical Mindsets?" (2014).
  • Ruff, M., AAA 2013 Annual Meeting, American Accounting Association, Anaheim, CA, "Teaching accounting online:  one instructor's experience" (2013).
  • Stein, M.-K., Newell, S. M., Wagner, E. L., Galliers, R. D., 21st European Conference on Information Systems, Utrecht, The Netherlands, "Technology-Use Mediation Revisited: A Symbolic Process Perspective.” (2013).
  • Stein, M.-K., Galliers, R. D., International Conference on Organizational Learning, Knowledge and Capabilities (OLKC), Washington DC, "Enterprise Systems Education: How "Not-Learning" Happens?" (2013).

contracts, grants, and sponsored research

  • Thibodeau, J. C. (Supporting), Hartt, A. (Principal), Abdolmohammadi, M. J. (Supporting), Grant, "The Impact of Collective Intelligence and Social Signaling on Audit Team Brainstorming for Fraud,” PwC, LLP, Private, Funded. (start: May 15, 2012).
  • Melo, L. (Principal), Grant, "“Corporate Governance of Emerging Market Multinationals (EMNEs): Identifying the participation profile and development needs of female leadership in Emerging Markets.” Center for Women and Business, Bentley University.

Featured Doctoral Graduate: Denise Hanes Downey, PhD Accountancy (2013)

Denise Hanes Downey is a tenure-track assistant professor of accounting at Villanova University, where her teaching and research focus on financial statement auditing. In the classroom, Denise focuses on preparing students to become successful audit professionals through experiential based learning opportunities. In May 2014, a teaching case that Denise co-authored with Barbara Porco (Fordham University) and Jay Thibodeau (Bentley University) was published in Issues in Accounting Education. The case, “Simply Soups Inc.: A Teaching Case Designed to Integrate the Electronic Cash Confirmation into the Auditing Curriculum,” requires students to use leading audit technology and regulatory guidance to complete the confirmation of cash on a hypothetical client. As of January 2014 the case had been used by more than 2,000 students at 123 universities.

Denise’s research focuses on an emerging area of audit research, geographically distributed audit arrangements. In November 2013, Denise published “Geographically distributed audit work: Theoretical considerations and future directions,” in the Journal of Accounting Literature. This synthesis focuses on stimulating audit research pertaining to geographically distributed work arrangements, such as offshoring and group audits, by drawing on the management and social psychology literature to developing 18 research questions for future researchers to consider.

Denise’s current working papers include several subsequent studies that focus on the effects of geographical distribution on audit and tax professionals. “The interactive effects of task identity and task significance on performance: Evidence from public accounting,” is a working paper based on a component of her dissertation. This paper considers how offshoring audit work is likely to affect the design (features) of work performed by onshore auditors and the impact of such changes on staff auditors’ performance. Denise’s second paper pertaining to the effects of offshoring on accounting professionals, is entitled “The Interactive Effects of Feedback Sign and Source on Indian Tax Professionals’ Satisfaction: A Social Identity Perspective.” This paper, co-authored with Lindsay Andiola (Bentley University), Tracy Noga (Bentley University), and Brian Spilker (Brigham Young University), considers how Indian offshore tax staff react to positive and negative feedback when it is provided by a remote U.S. manager or a local Indian manager. While offshoring represents an important change in public accounting, Denise’s research does not ignore the significance of global group audits as a second form of geographically distributed audit work. Together with Jean Bedard (Bentley University), Denise continues to work on a study entitled, “A Field Investigation of Coordination and Communications in Globally Dispersed Audit Teams.” This study examines the communication and coordination mechanisms employed by auditors in global group audits, in order to identify best practices and challenges facing auditors in these complex arrangements. Although each paper is unique, overall Denise’s research is illustrative of her desire to pursue emerging areas of auditing with strong theoretical and practical implications. 

Featured Doctoral Graduate: Elise Perrault, PHD Business (2012)

Elise Perrault is a tenure-track assistant professor in the Management and Marketing Department at the College of Charleston. Her dissertation research examined how managers accord salience to their various stakeholders in view of stakeholders’ attributes, such as their socio-economic status, and the ways in which stakeholders press their demands onto the firm. Where researchers in this field have paid little attention to date on the factors that influence managers in their prioritization of stakeholders’ demands, her work seeks to advance our understanding of managers’ engagement with stakeholders and the effect of stakeholder activism on corporate social responsibility.

In an article forthcoming in Business and Society Review, “Zombies and originals: How Cultural Theory Informs Stakeholder Management,”  Elise explores how managers’ cognition and behavior toward stakeholders is affected by their firm’s cultural biases, which result in corporate stakeholder cultures that largely dictate firm-stakeholder engagements. With co-author Alexander Rieflin, she published in the Journal of General Management (2014, 39(3): 39-58) “Like Company, Like Self: A Multilevel Argument Explaining Firms’ Level of Engagement in Corporate Social Responsibility” an article discussing the internal influences that affect the extent to which firms engage in CSR. The authors suggest a competing view to that implied by cultural theory: that through their position of power in the top management team, managers proactively seek to enact their identity (their self) and their social role, which largely explains the various levels of CSR that we observe across firms.

Elise’s recently published work also incorporates her interest for corporate governance. In a forthcoming article in the Journal of Business Ethics “Why Does Board Gender Diversity Matter and How Do We Get There?: The Role of Shareholder Activism in Deinstitutionalizing Old Boys’ Networks,” she explores through interviews the role that shareholder activists play in influencing management and the firm’s stakeholder network toward greater gender diversity, an increasingly important topic in both academia and the popular press.