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We then investigate its foundations using the works of Watts and Zimmerman.We describe how empirical studies added unique insights into its development. Finally, we outline and discuss the significant contribution of PAT to our understanding of corporate reporting practices.
Major findings offered by these studies are as follows. Pierson published “The education of American Business men”.
It is said that two reports on US business education were the impetus for those changes [4, 5]. The former report was commissioned by Ford Foundation and the latter by Carnegie Foundation.
This chapter aims to put light on the PAT and related empirical studies and identify its broad contributions to the accounting research.
Our objective is to provide a review of extant literature in order to synthesize findings, identify areas of controversy in the literature, and evaluate critiques.
Our literature review is organized around ideas of PAT, its hypotheses, supporters and followers, and finally critiques of this theory.
The remaining part of this chapter proceeds as follows: We first examine the forces that give rise to this theory.Besides their recommendations on teaching methods, these authors stressed the need to develop research based on the formulation and testing of the hypotheses.They also describe the resources necessary to advance the level of business studies.We conclude that this theory has generated several useful insights on managers' reporting decisions.In this section, we examine the forces and the publications that had a major impact on the emergence of PAT.In fact, positive research in accounting started coming to prominence around the mid-1960s and had been a vector of paradigm shift within the financial accounting research in the 1970s and 1980s.The term “positive” refers to the theory that attempts to explain and make good predictions of particular phenomena.Positive researchers empirically test their predictions around the bonus plan hypothesis, the debt covenant hypothesis, and the political cost hypothesis.These hypotheses can be used in two distinguished forms of positive accounting theory.Academic studies on the factors that affect a firm's accounting choices triggered a paradigm change in accounting research, altering the nature of literature from prescriptive to predictive.The construct of the new paradigm was first articulated by Ross Watts and Jerold Zimmerman with the publication of their revolutionary articles in —“Towards a Positive Theory of the Determination of Accounting Standards” in 1978 and “The Demand for and Supply of Accounting Theories: The Market for Excuses” in 1979.