An article by University of Scranton accounting professors has won a prestigious Institute of Management Accountants’ Lybrand Gold Medal as the “outstanding article of the year” for 2019, marking the fourth medal, and second gold medal, to be awarded to professors at Scranton in just six years. The manuscript recognized was “Beyond Internal Controls: The Need for Behavioral Assessment and Modification in Fraud Mitigation Efforts,” by professors Douglas M. Boyle, D.B.A., James Boyle, D.B.A., and Daniel Mahoney, Ph.D., which was published in the fall 2018 edition of Management Accounting Quarterly.
The Lybrand Competition considers for awards all manuscripts published during the year in the Institute of Management Accountants’ (IMA)Strategic Finance and Management Accounting Quarterly journals, both of which are rated among the top five practitioner journals.
In 2016, the article “The Continuing Saga of Goodwill Accounting,” by Dr. Douglas Boyle, Dr. Mahoney and Brian Carpenter, Ph.D., received IMA’s Lybrand Gold Medal. In 2014, the article “New Rules for Lessee Accounting: A Summary of the Lessee Provisions of Accounting Standards Update” by the three professors received IMA’s Lybrand Bronze Medal, and in 2015, the manuscript “Operation Broken Gate: The SEC Holding Gatekeepers Accountable” by Drs. Douglas and James Boyle, Dr. Carpenter and Dr. Mahoney received the IMA’s Lybrand Silver Medal.
In addition to the medals, manuscripts entitled “The SEC Whistleblower Program Expands Focus: Retaliatory Behavior, Confidentiality Agreements, and Compliance Personnel” by Drs. Douglas and James Boyle and Dr. Carpenter and “Goodwill Impairment Adequacy: Perspectives of Accounting Professionals” by Dr. Douglas Boyle, Dr. Carpenter, and Dr. Daniel Mahoney received 2016 Lybrand Certificates of Merit. Finally, manuscripts titled “Avoiding the Fraud Mind-set” by Drs. Douglas Boyle and James Boyle and Dr. Mahoney and “Goodwill Accounting: A Closer Examination of the Matter of Nonimpairments” by Dr. Douglas Boyle, Dr. Carpenter and Dr. Mahoney received Lybrand Certificates in 2015 and 2012, respectively.
Dr. Douglas Boyle currently serves as chair of the Accounting Department at Scranton, director of the University’s internationally recognized DBA program and the founder and director of the University’s Nonprofit Leadership Certificate Program. In addition, he, along with Dr. James Boyle and Dr. Mahoney, led the University’s effort to establish a Business High School Scholars Program.
A Certified Public Accountant as well as a Certified Management Accountant, Dr. Boyle has more than 25 years of industry executive experience. An award-winning teacher, Dr. Boyle was profiled in 2019 as one of just six “Professors to Know in Business Programs Based in the Northeast” selected by Bschools.org, an online resource for entrepreneurs. Dr. Boyle earned a bachelor’s degree from The University of Scranton, an MBA from Columbia University and a doctorate from Kennesaw State University.
Dr. Boyle’s research has been published in numerous academic and practitioner journals, such as The Journal of Accounting and Public Policy (JAPP), Accounting Horizons, Current Issues in Auditing, The Journal of Accounting Education, The Accounting Educators’ Journal, The Journal of Accountancy, Strategic Finance, Fraud Magazine, Internal Auditor, Management Accounting Quarterly, The CPA Journal, Internal Auditing, The Journal of Applied Business Research and The Journal of Business and Behavioral Sciences.
An award-winning teacher and scholar, Dr. Mahoney earned a bachelor’s degree and an MBA from The University of Scranton as well as a doctorate in accounting from Syracuse University. A Certified Public Accountant, he was named Kania School of Management’s Professor of the Year five times and has won numerous other awards for teaching.
Dr. Mahoney’s research has been published in numerous professional journals, such as The CPA Journal, Internal Auditor, Management Accounting Quarterly and Journal of Business and Economics Research, Accounting and Financial Management.
Dr. James Boyle holds a bachelor’s and MBA from The University of Scranton and a DBA from Kennesaw State University. He has taught part-time at the University since 2009 and full-time since 2012 and also served as an internal auditor for the University for more than a decade. He has published articles in multiple academic journals, including The CPA Journal, Strategic Finance, The Journal of Forensic and Investigative Accounting and Internal Auditing.
Learn more about the DBA program here!
Whether in their first management position or at the top of an organizational chart, good leaders never stop growing. In addition, when managers get better, the entire organization benefits: Numerous studies confirm that good leaders correlate with high employee satisfaction, engagement, commitment, and even profitability.1
Below are some attributes that can help you become a better leader:
Arguably the most important leadership skill, communication is often a top area for improvement. According to one study, managers who improved their overall effectiveness over a 12- to 18-month period were more likely to have improved their communication skills than any other attribute.2
To update your communication skills, find ways to play to your strengths and improve on weaknesses. If you have been told your e-mails are unclear, have a co-worker review them before you hit send. If your team is reluctant to approach you, establish an open-door policy or make a point of walking around and speaking to everyone. Remember that communication includes listening, not just speaking.
Set expectations—and enforce them.
Studies show that at all levels, only half of leaders hold people to task when they don’t deliver.3It’s vital to set expectations for your team and yourself and ensure that everyone contributes.
Employees—and especially younger generations—want to know how they are doing. More than half (60 percent) of respondents in one survey said they want feedback daily or weekly, and yet fewer than 30 percent receive it on a regular basis, according to another study.4
Feedback works best when it’s about specific situations and given regularly, not saved for a quarterly or annual performance review. Employees crave both recognition for good work and constructive feedback when they are struggling.
Lead by example.
Emphasize behaviors that you want to see in the people you manage. Beyond modeling basic workplace etiquette and a willingness to address challenges, your own supervisors are counting on you to reflect the company’s core mission and values.
No work situation is without challenges and stress. Keeping a positive outlook when problems arise helps your team focus on addressing problems, not poor morale. Projecting confidence in times of crisis isn’t just good sense—it’s a key part of the role of a manager.
Learn to delegate.
Working in teams and bouncing ideas off your peers can create high-quality work while keeping your stress levels down. Train and trust your team to take on appropriate tasks.
Know your team.
The more you know the strengths and weaknesses of the people who report to you, the better you will be able to match them with roles and responsibilities that synchronize with their interests. Knowing your co-workers on a personal level can pay huge dividends in morale—and make your own time as a leader far more enjoyable and rewarding.
Encourage others to grow.
For you to advance as a leader, you must help your team members do the same. Encourage them to take on more challenging tasks, and help them network and develop skills they will need as they grow into leadership roles of their own.5
The University of Scranton Master of Business Administration can help you develop the ability to lead in today’s changing workplace with the values of ethics and social responsibility that are the hallmark of a Jesuit education.
Learn more about The University of Scranton’s MBA program.
1 Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman, “How Damaging Is a Bad Boss, Exactly?,” Harvard Business Review, https://hbr.org/2012/07/how-damaging-is-a-bad-boss-exa
2 Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman, “How Poor Leaders Become Good Leaders,” Harvard Business Review, https://hbr.org/2013/02/how-poor-leaders-become-good-l
3 Darren Overfield and Rob Kaiser, “One Out of Every Two Managers Is Terrible at Accountability,” Harvard Business Review, https://hbr.org/2012/11/one-out-of-every-two-managers-is-terrible-at-accountability
4 Maren Hogan, “5 Employee Feedback Stats That You Need to See,” LinkedIn Talent Blog, https://business.linkedin.com/talent-solutions/blog/trends-and-research/2016/5-Employee-Feedback-Stats-That-You-Need-to-See
5 Avery Augustine, “5 Strategies That Will Turn Your Employees Into Leaders,” The Muse, https://www.themuse.com/advice/5-strategies-that-will-turn-your-employees-into-leaders
The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) recognized The University of Scranton’s Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) program for “Innovations and Best Practices in Canada, Latin America and the United States.” Just 43 colleges from the two continents were included in the just-released publication that recognizes the “impactful ways” AACSB member schools are redefining business education.
AACSB recognized Scranton for providing a non-traditional research DBA in accounting that “promotes diversity and practice relevance by providing a flexible path for experienced practitioners to gain the knowledge and credentials required to succeed in tenure-track positions at AACSB-accredited institutions.”
The University developed its DBA program in accounting in response to the pending shortage of accounting faculty and The Pathways Commission on Accounting Higher Education of the American Accounting Association (AAA) and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) call to develop more flexible, non-traditional tracks to an accounting doctorate for experienced practitioners. AACSB also has recognized this need.
Several Scranton accounting faculty members researched and published several manuscripts in top-tier journals examining the national challenge as part of their research to develop the DBA program at the University.
The University’s DBA program in accounting, launched in the fall of 2017, was developed specifically to provide experienced practitioners with a practical, flexible pathway to an academic career, while still providing for the development of the knowledge and skill set necessary to become a “scholarly academic,” that is one who is most qualified to serve in a tenure-track position at a school of business that possesses or is seeking formal accreditation by AACSB International.
Douglas M. Boyle, DBA, associate professor, accounting department chair, and DBA program director at Scranton said the innovative doctorate program provides a flexible structure and practice relevance, in addition to training for teaching excellence.
“First, the program has a single concentration in accounting. This innovation enables the program participants to engage earlier and more deeply in research in the accounting discipline, thus better preparing them to publish in quality journals,” said Dr. Boyle. “Second, the program follows a cohort model and is delivered in a flexible manner through monthly on campus residencies, allowing participants to retain their professional positions and practice relevance. Third, the program includes faculty from Scranton and nationally recognized scholars from other AACSB institutions, serving as program advisors in the dissertation process. In addition to extensive coursework in business literature, theory and methods, the program also includes courses in the academic governance, teaching excellence, Jesuit pedagogy and applied research to address practice relevance.”
According to Dr. Boyle the DBA’s first three cohorts of 35 doctoral candidates represent a very diverse group of professionals with extensive practice experience. The majority of the candidates are female and over 20 percent represent individuals of color.
“This diversity far exceeds that of population of tenured faculty and senior accounting leaders in practice,” said Dr. Boyle. He also said the initial scholarly outcomes for the DBA students have included numerous conference presentations, proceeding and peer-reviewed publications, with several candidates already having published manuscripts in the top five practice journals.
Learn more about the DBA program at The University of Scranton.
When Sunil Pillai G’83, of Mumbai, India, was finishing up his MBA at Scranton at age 23, he promised himself that if he eventually got married and had a child, that child would go to Scranton for his or her MBA.
“God has been kind,” said Sunil in a recent interview. “I had one son. And his name is Rathin.”
It was pretty clear from early on that Rathin Pillai G’12, who, like his dad, grew up in Mumbai, would follow in his father’s footsteps.
“My dad had his framed final certification on the wall at home. He’d say to me, ‘That’s the degree that has gotten me this far. You can talk back to me all you want, but until you have that degree, I won’t listen,’” remembered Rathin.
Like Father, Like Son
Rathin had a lot to live up to. Sunil had gone from Scranton to Pfizer International in New York to Colgate Palmolive in India, quickly moving up the corporate ladder. He eventually became vice president of marketing and sales at CavinKare, a conglomerate in fast-moving consumer goods, then vice president of marketing at Reliance Communications, Global Operations, and, most recently, COO at Tata Teleservices. He is currently a guest faculty member at IIM Bangalore and founder and director of Strategy Green Consultancy.
“I owe this whole career of mine to Scranton and the education I got there,” said Sunil. “It got me to move from being just a young kid playing around in the streets of Mumbai to be a formative professional in the way I looked at things.”
Rathin, a TV executive who recently took on a strategy and business development role at India’s Network 18 (Viacom in the United States), said it was essential — for both of them — to go abroad for their graduate degrees.
“I think I speak for both of us when I say we needed a global perspective. Had we studied for our MBAs in India, it would’ve been specific to India marketing only,” he said.
Sunil and his son both chose Scranton because it had a good reputation, was a “friendly campus” and was close to major cities. Although the two graduated about 30 years apart, they had a campus friend in common — Murli Rajan, Ph.D. G’84, now interim dean of the Kania School of Management. Rajan was Sunil’s roommate in the ’80s and became a lifelong friend.
Paying it Forward
Sunil paid it forward when Rajan arrived in Scranton from India for his MBA just a year later. Rajan traveled directly from the airport to the Hotel Jermyn on Spruce Street, where the other international students were staying while they looked for more permanent housing.
“Sunil called me as soon as I got there. He found out where I was staying,” said Dr. Rajan. “I don’t even know how he did that. We spoke the same language; we both speak Tamil. I couldn’t believe it. He just made me feel so welcome.”
When Rathin arrived in 2010, he found out that his dad’s friend would be his adviser. Having that personal connection was a comfort to Rathin, but he said he felt on level with almost everyone at Scranton.
“I never felt alone on that campus or in Scranton in general,” said Rathin. “It’s not just the students; it’s the professors as well. They made me feel at home right from the start.”
Sunil said his own acceptance into the University community made it possible for him to focus on his studies and excel in his courses.
“I grew into a professional at Scranton,” said Sunil. “I learned to understand the world better.”
He expanded his global knowledge when he went on to work in India, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and East Africa. And now, as he sits in his house gazing out at the Arabian Sea, he looks back with pride at his experience in Scranton, where it all began.
Learn more about the MBA program at The University of Scranton here!
This article originally appeared in The Scranton Journal.