Research in Financial or Management Accounting


Financial scandals around the world have harshly shown the importance of transparency and reliability in performance reporting systems. Companies that fail to clearly communicate externally with investors on their investments, financial position, and financial performance likely face increased difficulty accessing external financing or an increased cost of financing. Companies that do not report, evaluate and compensate performance transparently and equitably internally, can create detrimental organizational cultures and can stimulate managers to behave opportunistically by managing earnings, by gaming the performance measurement system and by acting myopically.

Accounting is the research discipline that examines the role of accounting information in companies´ communications, both externally and internally. Top and middle managers, as well as outside providers of financing such as banks and equity investors, use accounting information for decision making and control purposes.

The objective of this Ph.D. project is to identify and analyze innovative research questions in the area of accounting. The expectation is that these questions will be examined using archival (quantitative, database-based) and/or experimental research methods.

During the first year, the Ph.D student will receive high-quality training in accounting and financial management research as well as in statistical methods. At the end of the first year, the student will have developed a first proposal for three empirical studies, having much independence in selecting a research focus. During the following three years, these studies will be carried out and gradually developed into three working papers aimed at top academic journals. Especially during the early stages of the project, the Ph.D. student will intensively cooperate with the members of the supervisory team.


Accounting, accountability, transparency, performance measurement, financial reporting, management control, financial analysis


See above. Note that the project can further develop in the subfields of managerial and/or financial accounting, or on the intersection thereof, depending on research question development and skills and preference of the candidate. The research project can emphasize economic or behavioral research questions and approaches, and/or build on both.


The identified research questions will be examined using archival (quantitative, database-based) and/or experimental research methods, depending on applicability and desirability

Required profile

The candidate has (a) a background in accounting, finance, economics, or psychology (b) good quantitative and communicative skills, (c) an international focus, and (d) an interest in accounting, corporate communication and/or measurement & incentive schemes.

Expected output

The goal of the project is that the PhD candidate completes three research papers that are potentially publishable in leading accounting journals such as The Accounting Review, Journal of Accounting Research, Accounting, Organizations & Society, Review of Accounting Studies and Contemporary Accounting Research.


The decision whether or not to cooperate with other universities or research groups depends on future project choices. It is expected, however, that the Ph.D. candidate will spend at least 6 months at an international university as a visiting scholar.

Societal relevance

This research project has a strong potential to influence companies’ external and internal communication policies and/or accounting and incentive systems, as well as influence regulatory policies and/or accounting institutions.

Scientific relevance

The project systematically evaluates the role of accounting within organizations, and/or capital markets and society, both conceptually and empirically. The project has implications for managerial reporting, internally and/or externally, and for value creation.

Literature references & data sources

For recent overviews of the accounting literature, see for example (in alphabetical order):


Beyer, Cohen, Lys & Walther (2010). The financial reporting environment: Review of the recent literature. Journal of Accounting & Economics, 50(2-3), 296-343.

Bonner, S. E., & Sprinkle, G. B. (2002). The Effects of Monetary Incentives on Effort and Task Performance: Theories, Evidence, and a Framework for Research. Accounting, Organizations and Society, 27, 303-345.

Graham, Harvey & Rajgopal (2005). The economic implications of corporate financial reporting. Journal of Accounting & Economics, 40(1-3), 3-73.

Leuz & Wysocki (2016). The Economics of Disclosure and Financial Reporting Regulation: Evidence and Suggestions for Future Research. Journal of Accounting Research, 54(2), 525-622.

Luft (2015). Management accounting in the laboratory and in social context: Four contrasts, 1975–2014. Accounting, Organizations and Society. 49.

Luft (2016), Cooperation and competition among employees: Experimental evidence on the role of management control systems, Management Accounting Research, 31, Pages 75-85.

Employment conditions

ERIM offers fully-funded and salaried PhD positions, which means that accepted PhD candidates become employees (promovendi) of Erasmus University Rotterdam. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities (CAO).

Contact Information

For questions regarding the PhD application and selection procedure, please check the Admissions or send us an e-mail via

Erasmus Research Institute of Management

ERIM is the research institute of management at Erasmus University Rotterdam, founded by Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) and Erasmus School of Economics (ESE), both of which excel in their research and teaching programmes. The level and international character of their research and teaching programmes has put both schools at the forefront of academic excellence. They offer a diversified portfolio of accredited teaching and research programmes, ranging from pre-experience MSc to postgraduate Masters and executive development, and from fundamental research to applied research and business support, which are renowned throughout the world. RSM is one of the few schools worldwide that holds a triple accreditation from the AMBAs, EQUIS and the AASCB, and is positioned among the top European business schools. The scientific staff of both schools plays a major role in the schools’ interaction with the international business community.

ERIM distinguishes itself by the high-level and international character of its research and has repeatedly been ranked among top 3 research institutes in Europe. ERIM’s key aims are top-quality academic research with impact both on academia and managerial practice, and the advancement of international academic careers and high-level support for both research and doctoral education. For more information about ERIM please visit [link:].