Associate Professor; Approved Doctoral Dissertation Supervisor; Co-Director of the Centre for Sustainability Reporting and Performance Management

Office: 3161 Hagey HallPicture of Adam Presslee

Phone: 519-888-4567 x41088



Research Summary

My research interest is developing theory that informs practice regarding the design and implementation of effective management control systems. I apply psychology and economic theory to predict the impact of management control system features on employee behaviour. I then use field studies and experiments to test those predictions.

Work experience

Associate Professor, University of Waterloo (2021 - current)

Assistant Professor, University of Waterloo (2018 - 2021)

Assistant Professor, University of Pittsburgh (2013 – 2017)

Auditor, Deloitte and Touche (2005 – 2009)

Education and certifications

Bachelor of Commerce (University of Alberta)

Ph.D. (University of Waterloo)

Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) (Alberta)


Kelly, K., W. Liu, and A. Presslee. In-press. The interactive effect of organizational identification and reward type on employees’ reward valuation. Contemporary Accounting Research.

Presslee, A., G. Richins, S. Saiy, and A. Webb. 2023. Small sample field study: The effect of team-based recognition on employee engagement and effort. Management Accounting Research, 59: 1-12.

Berger, L., L. Guo, and A. Presslee. 2023. Motivating employees with goal-based prosocial rewards. Contemporary Accounting Research, 40(1): 231-256.

Choi, W., and A. Presslee. 2023. When and why tangible rewards can motivate greater effort than cash rewards: An analysis of four attribute differences. Accounting, Organizations & Society, 104: 1-15.

Brown, C., J.H. Evans, D. Moser, and A. Presslee. 2022. The strength of performance incentives, pay dispersion, and lower-paid employee effort. Journal of Management Accounting Research, 34(3): 59-76.

Mitchell, T., A. Presslee, A. Schulz, and A. Webb. 2022. Needs versus wants: Which motivates more effort? Journal of Management Accounting Research, 34(1): 187-207.

Birnberg, J., W. Choi, and A. Presslee. 2021. Giving customers decision rights: A field study of pay-what-you-want pricing at a performance arts theatre. Accounting Perspectives, 20(2): 201-225.

Burt, I., T. Libby, and A. Presslee. 2020. The impact of superior-subordinate identity and possible ex post adjustment on subordinate expectancy and performance. Journal of Management Accounting Research, 32(1): 31-49.

Kelly, K., and A. Presslee. 2017. The interactive effect of winner proportion and tournament group identity on tournament performance. Accounting, Organisations and Society, 56: 21-34.

Kelly, K., A. Presslee and A. Webb. 2017. The effects of tangible versus cash rewards in consecutive sales tournaments: A field experiment. The Accounting Review, 92(6): 165-186.

Presslee, A., T. Vance and A. Webb. 2013. The effects of reward type on employee goal selection, goal commitment and performance. The Accounting Review, 88(5): 1805-1831.

Boritz, J., F. Borthwick, and A. Presslee. 2012. The effect of business process representation type on assessment of business and control risks: Diagrams versus narratives. Issues in Accounting Education, 27(4): 895-915.

University of Waterloo

Profiles by type