Succeeding in managerial accounting. Part 1: Knowledge, ability, and rank

Dan N. Stone, James E. Hunton, Benson Wier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Using data on 2941 practicing managerial accountants, we explore rank-based differences in measured ability, and technical, industry, and tacit managerial knowledge. Our data indicate that concomitant with increases in rank are: (1) decreasing levels of, and increasing variability in, measured entry-level technical knowledge, (2) increasing measured levels of, and generally decreasing variability in, industry knowledge, (3) increasing levels of, and non-monotonic changes in the variability in, measured tacit managerial knowledge, and (4) no differences in levels of, or variability in, measured ability. Ours is the first large-sample exploration of rank-based differences in the knowledge "stocks"of managerial accountants. Study results provide insight into knowledge acquisition processes and the matching of knowledge to jobs across ranks in managerial accounting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)697-715
Number of pages19
JournalAccounting, Organizations and Society
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 2000

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Sincere thanks to the KPMG Peat Marwick Foundation and the University of Illinois for grants to the first author. Thanks also to Andy Cuccia, Audrey Gramling, Bob Libby, Joan Luft, Sri Ramamoorti, Gary Siegel, Mike Shields, Hun-Tong Tan, Dave Ziebart, workshop participants at the University of Illinois, University of Notre Dame, University of South Florida, and University of Utah, and to two anonymous reviewers and the editor for comments on previous drafts. Descriptions of the data and analysis procedures, and copies of the instruments used in this study, are available from the third author. Access to the data is limited to researchers signing agreements that assure the participating organizations' confidentiality. We rotate the order of author names across the multiple papers resulting from this project.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Accounting
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Information Systems and Management


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