SYNOPSIS

The shortage of doctorally qualified accounting faculty has been a concern for the accounting profession for many years (Plumlee, Kachelmeier, Madeo, Pratt, and Krull 2006; Advisory Committee on the Auditing Profession [ACAP] 2008; Pathways Commission 2012; Plumlee and Reckers 2014). One potential strategy for mitigating the shortage is the expansion of more flexible doctoral programs that would allow interested practitioners the opportunity to pursue doctorates without completely exiting the labor market (Trapnell, Mero, Williams, and Krull 2009; Pathways Commission 2012; Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International [AACSB] 2013). The success of this solution will depend largely on the acceptance of the resulting candidates by the parties that would hire them. This study examines factors associated with the accounting faculty shortage in general, and more specifically with the perceived value of attracting practitioners into more flexible doctoral programs as a means of potentially reducing the shortage. Based on a survey of over 800 accounting faculty and administrators, the results suggest that the expected future shortage of doctorates will be more pronounced in smaller, public, and non-doctoral institutions. Overall, faculty and administrators value attracting practitioners into academia, but only moderately support the creation of more flexible doctoral programs for such individuals. The perceived value of attracting practitioners into academia and support for the creation of more flexible doctoral programs are stronger in smaller, non-doctoral institutions. Overall, the results suggest that non-traditional doctoral programs may initially provide graduates primarily for smaller, non-doctoral institutions, where the future shortage of doctorates is expected to be most acute.

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