Temporal, Cross-sectional, and Time-lag Analyses of Managerial and Cost Accounting Textbooks

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In this paper, we evaluate the temporal, cross-sectional and time-lag analysis for topical content in managerial and cost accounting textbooks. Our temporal analyses of Garrison's managerial accounting and Horngren's cost accounting textbooks revealed that significant topical changes did occur over time in both textbooks. Our time-lag analysis, however, revealed that the average time for a new topic to appear in a textbook was more than two publishing cycles (i.e. eight years), indicating a 'wait and see' attitude on the part of the authors and/or publishers about whether that topic would turn out to be a fad. Finally, our cross-sectional analysis shows that the topical coverage of several best-selling textbooks is very similar. Most of the textbooks reflect a common body of knowledge. Textbooks with shorter publishing periods, however, are more likely to incorporate unique topics that are not covered by most other texts, thereby differentiating their content and building their market niche.

Keywords: Accounting; cost accounting; education; managerial accounting; publishers; textbooks

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09639280701788745

Affiliations: Kent State University, USA

Publication date: September 1, 2008

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