BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Two professors and a doctoral student in accounting at the Indiana University Kelley School of Business are sharing a major award for their research from the American Accounting Association.
Lori Bhaskar, associate professor of accounting; Geoffrey Sprinkle, professor of accounting and the Stan Pressler Faculty Fellow; and Ph.D. student Timothy Mallon, on Jan. 6 were honored along with Dan Way, a professor at Clemson University and former Ph.D. student at Kelley. They received the most outstanding paper award at the 2023 Management Accounting Section Mid-Year Meeting in Atlanta.
They were recognized for their paper, “How Do Group Size and Group Relative Performance Information Affect Managerial Reporting.”
“We received excellent nominations covering a variety of topics and methodologies, but your paper rose to the top and was the unanimous choice,” said Margaret Christ, professor and J.M. Tull Chair in Accounting at the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia, in a note to the winners.
The paper is new and the professors plan to incorporate feedback before publication that they received at various presentations this fall at Villanova University, Clemson University, the University of Florida and the Accounting, Behavior, and Organizations Research Conference.
The professors conducted a laboratory experiment to examine how two important organizational design choices – the size of the group and the provision of group-level relative performance information (RPI) – affect managers’ reporting honesty.
They found that managers report less honestly in large groups than when in small groups and that their honesty decreased over time in both small and large groups and that group-level RPI mitigates this decrease for small groups but exacerbates this decrease for large groups.
Their study has implications for an organization’s architecture and how performance is measured, as well as for the efficacy of providing group-level relative performance information.
Bhaskar has been on the Kelley accounting faculty since July 2014, after receiving her doctorate from the Georgia Institute of Technology. She researches judgment and decision-making in accounting with specific interests in audit quality, audit regulation, internal controls, and individual auditor attributes, and has been published in The Accounting Review, the Journal of Accounting Research and other journals. Prior to entering academia, she was an auditor at Deloitte.
Sprinkle came to Kelley Indiana University in 1999, becoming professor of accounting a decade later. Also the Stan Pressler Faculty Fellow, he teaches in the areas of managerial and cost accounting and has received numerous teaching awards. His work has been published in journals such as The Accounting Review, The American Economic Review, Accounting, Organizations and Society, the Journal of Management Accounting Research, and Issues in Accounting Education.
Mallon entered Kelley’s doctoral program in 2019 after working for several years as an auditor at PwC in Las Vegas. His research interests focus primarily on managerial control and incentives, with a particular focus on how group dynamics within organizations interact with these systems. He is a licensed CPA and has a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Nevada, Reno.