Concerns about the relevance of accounting research are not new, nor are concerns about the relevance of academic research unique to the field of accounting. However, these concerns are fundamentally important in accounting because the discipline is deeply rooted in practice.

More than 25 years ago, a group of accounting scholars—Joel Demski, Nick Dopuch, Baruch Lev, Josh Ronen, Gerry Searfoss, and Shyam Sunder—identified symptoms of a crisis in accounting research:

Similar symptoms appear in other academic fields. Belluz, Plumer, and Resnick (2016) surveyed scientists to get their responses to the question “If you could change one thing about how science works today, what would it be and why?” The reported responses are simultaneously reassuring—in that accounting is not alone in concerns about the relevance of academic research—and disheartening—in that many of the issues are due to immutable elements of the academic environment that interfere with intellectual progress. Similarly, as...

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