Michael W. Maher
Research Expertise: Accounting, cost-effectiveness of online education, healthcare costs, corporate crime and misconduct
A recognized expert on managerial accounting, Professor Michael Maher is also an authority on corporate crime (e.g., fraud, bribery, antitrust). He develops profiles on companies and managers that commit corporate misconduct, and studies and lectures on corporate ethics and the responsibilities of business and auditors to stakeholders.
Maher focuses his research on the efficiency of recent developments in managerial accounting, including activity-based costing, benchmarking and theory constraints. He has authored more than 10 books on the principles and essentials of managerial accounting and written or edited chapters in more than 20 other publications. He has published more than 30 major articles in top academic journals. He teaches courses on managerial accounting and on using performance measurements and rewards to motivate people.
Maher has conducted research on anti-trust issues related to the airline industry, the cost-effectiveness of online education and healthcare costs. He consults for diverse industries, including computer software, automobile, defense, health care, government and pharmaceuticals.
Michael Maher Honored with Lifetime Achievement Award
American Institute of CPAs Recognizes His Contributions
Professor Michael Maher was honored in January for his many years of research and teaching of management accounting issues. The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) and the Management Accounting Section of the American Accounting Association (AAA) recognized Maher with the 2015 Lifetime Contribution Award for making an important mark on management accounting education, research and practice.
AICPA presented the award to Maher at the 2015 AAA Management Accounting Section’s mid-year meeting on January 9 in Newport Beach.
Managerial Accounting: An Introduction to Concepts, Methods and Uses, 11th Edition
South-Western College Publishing, 2011
This edition effectively balances coverage of concepts, methods, and the uses of managerial accounting with a strong emphasis on management decision-making. Students focus on concepts and managerial uses of financial information, rather than simply perfecting the accounting techniques.
A direct, realistic, and efficient way to learn cost accounting. Fundamentals is short (608 pages) making it easy to cover in one semester. The authors have kept the text concise by focusing on the key concepts students need to master. Opening vignettes and In Action boxes show realistic applications of these concepts throughout. Comprehensive end-of-chapter problems plus Homework Manager provide students with all the practice they need to fully learn each concept.
- Lifetime Contribution Award, The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) and the Management Accounting Section of the American Accounting Association (AAA), 2015.
- Best Article, Accounting Horizons, 2010.
- Finalist, Best Article, Journal of Operations Management, (with D. Weiss), 2009.
- Best Paper Award, European Risk Management Conference (with D. Weiss), 2008.
- Annual Professor of the Year Award (second year classes), UC Davis Graduate School of Management, 2008.
Steps can be taken to pinpoint and foil premeditated corporate and white-collar crime committed by workers trying to beat the system for their own self-interest. But what about wrongdoing committed by workers who unwittingly engage in illegal activities that become woven into the fabric of the company?
Professor Michael Maher and his co-authors won the 2010 best paper award from the American Accounting Association (AAA) 2010 Accounting Horizons for their paper “The Impact of Academic Accounting Research on Professional Practice,” published in the December 2009 issue of Accounting Horizons. They received a $2,500 cash prize—which the researchers donated to charity—and special recognition from the association’s membership, who voted on the year’s best paper.
In this paper Professor Michael Maher and Professor Donald Palmer analyze the mortgage meltdown as a “normal accident” (Perrow, 1984). They begin by briefly outlining normal accident theory; both Perrow’s original version and Mezias’ (1994) subsequent extension. They then use normal accident theory to analyze the mortgage meltdown and draw a few insights from our account. They then consider the relationship between normal accidents and wrongdoing; a vexing question for both normal accident theory and observers of the meltdown.
The Impact of Academic Accounting Research on Professional Practice: An Analysis by the AAA Research Impact Task Force
Accounting Horizons, 2009
The accounting academy has been long recognized as the premier developer of entry-level talent for the accounting profession and the major provider of executive education via master’s-level curricula and customized executive education courses. However, the impact that the academy’s collective ideas have had on the efficiency and effectiveness of practice has been less recognized.
How do companies hedge against the effects of disasters such as terrorist attacks? While many companies use financial instruments to hedge currency fluctuations, fuel cost increases and changes in interest rates, Professor Michael Maher and his co-author Professor Dan Weiss of Tel Aviv University studied the use of operations policy to hedge against unfavorable situations. A classic example is the ice cream parlor owner in a summer resort town who adds hot drinks to her menu to hedge against an unusually cold summer.
Training employees to better understand why good people do bad things could be more effective in curbing organizational wrongdoing than ethics training and legal reforms, according to research by Professors Donald Palmer and Michael Maher. “Much wrongdoing is the result of mindless, mundane processes—rules, hierarchy, standard procedures and social influence processes,” says Palmer, who teaches a course on the causes of corporate and white-collar crime.
There are two explanations of organizational crime. The dominant one assumes that people make discrete decisions and develop positive dispositions to engage in crime before embarking on criminal behavior. An emerging alternative assumes that people often embark on criminal behavior through a process and without first developing positive dispositions.