Winning ARC grants: comparing accounting with other commerce-related disciplines

Kevin Clarke, Jack Flanagan, Sharron O'Neill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine whether accounting researchers in Australia more proactively pursued governmentsponsored Australian Research Council (ARC) research funding in the postEnron period than researchers in other commercerelated disciplines. Design/methodology/approach – The study measures disciplinary research activity using successful Australian Research Council Linkage and Discovery grants for the period 2000 to 2008. The study identifies the number of grants received, the total dollar amount funded, the number of participating institutions, individual researchers and (where applicable) partnering organisations. Using these criteria, the study compares the success of accounting with that of banking and finance, economics and business and management. Findings – The study highlights accounting's failure to attain comparable levels of research funding relative to other commercerelated disciplines (both in terms of grants and dollars), even given the public profile of accounting events postEnron. The study reveals a significantly higher “elite institution effect” exists in accounting and lower levels of academic and commercial partnerships when compared to other disciplines. The study examines potential reasons for the lack of ARC funding won by accounting researchers. Practical implications – The persistently low level of representation of accounting researchers among ARC grant winners during this period appears counterintuitive to the traditional “professional model” that links universitybased disciplinary members with practitioners. Why accounting, as a highprofile profession diverges from this model should be of concern to researchers, universities and the accounting profession. Originality/value – The study's use of comparative ARC data extends and contextualises earlier studies that have sought to examine the state of accounting research in Australia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-244
Number of pages32
JournalAccounting Research Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 22 Nov 2011


  • Accounting research
  • Australia
  • Australian Research Council
  • Commonwealth Department of Education
  • Employment and Workplace Relations
  • Grants
  • Post-Enron period
  • Professionalism
  • Research grants


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