Leo T. Gabriel, DBA grad

Wed, 2009-08-12 15:09 -- univcomm

Anderson’s DBA program enriched me in unexpected ways. I started the program as a tenured accounting professor with 12 years of teaching experience. Frustration with writing an article on some tax work I was doing with students was one of several factors prompting me to pursue a doctorate. I found that the benefits of the DBA were far beyond being able to write this article. There are many positive aspects of the program that I could share, but I will limit my comments to three ways the program enriched me:

  • The accounting knowledge gained was a surprising element of the program. I knew accounting well but had not considered important literature in the field. There was a sense of awe after reading DeAngelo's (1981) theory on auditor independence, Christenson's (1983) critique of positive accounting, and Zimmerman's (1977) use of agency theory to explain governmental accounting. This literature, and other seminal articles, deepened my understanding of accounting.
  • Conceptual foundation courses provided a basis for integrating other subjects with accounting. Some of the things I realized from these foundational courses was that much of managerial accounting is rooted in microeconomics and management theory, market orientation affects the accounting function, and agency theory explains the audit function. Foundational courses in economics, management, marketing, and finance provided connections between accounting and these subjects.
  • Conducting research and writing the dissertation, the culmination of the program, provided the foundation for ongoing scholarly work. In addition, writing the dissertation was not the dreaded process imagined. Research courses, an independent literature study, and a well-versed advisor, Dr. Ritchey, prepared me for the dissertation.

Dr. Wiese and other DBA faculty predicted that the doctorate degree would open doors and allow us to contribute to society in new ways. Many of us from Anderson's DBA program have found this to be true. It is a joy to see articles, papers, and conference presentations by DBA colleagues. As for the tax article that frustrated me, the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis published a version of it several months after I graduated. I have since worked as an independent consultant on research projects with the bank.

– Leo T. Gabriel, professor of accounting, Bethel University