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Alan Webb

Associate Professor; Recruiting Committee Chair; Approved Doctoral Dissertation Supervisor; Managerial Accounting

Alan Webb

Office: Hagey Hall 290F

Phone: 519-888-4567 x36548


Brief biography

My primary research interest is in the design, use and behavioral consequences of management tools such as budgets, balanced scorecards, and incentive programs. My current research focuses primarily on the effects of goal-setting and incentive programs on performance. I use a variety of methods in my research including experiments, questionnaires, field interviews and archival analysis. I teach a Masters course on performance management and a doctoral seminar on behavioral research in accounting.

Education and certifications

  • Bachelor of Commerce (Mount Allison)
  • Ph.D. (Alberta)
  • Chartered Accountants (CA) (Nova Scotia)
  • Fellow Chartered Accountants (FCA) (Ontario)

Selected publications

  • Presslee, A., T. Vance and A. Webb. 2013. The effects of reward type on employee goal selection, goal commitment and performance. Forthcoming, The Accounting Review.
  • Berger, L., K. Klassen, T. LIbby and A. Webb. 2013. Complacency and giving up across repeated tournaments: Evidence From the Field. Forthcoming, Journal of Management Accounting Research.
  • Webb, A., M. Williamson and M. Zhang. 2013. Productivity-target difficulty, target-based pay and outside-the-box thinking. Forthcoming, The Accounting Review, (July).
  • Kennedy, J., T. Vance and A. Webb. 2012.  Subordinates as the First Line of Defense: The Effects of Manager-Subordinate Relationship Quality and Ethical Concerns on Biased Financial Reporting. Journal of Management Accounting Research, 24: 1-24.
  • Jeffrey, S.,  A. Schulz and A. Webb. 2012. The performance effects of an ability-based approach to goal assignment. Journal of Organizational Behavior Management, 32(3): 221-241.
  • Webb, A., S. Jeffrey and A. Schulz. 2010.  Factors affecting goal difficulty and performance when employees select their own performance goals: Evidence from the field.  Journal of Management Accounting Research, 22(1): 209-232.
  • Carnaghan, C. and A. Webb. 2007. The effects of group response systems on student satisfaction, learning and engagement in accounting education. Issues in Accounting Education, 22(3):391-409.
  • Gaffney, K., V. Gladkikh and A. Webb. 2007. A case study of a variance analysis framework for managing distribution costs. Accounting Perspectives, 6(2):167-190.
  • Salterio, S. and A. Webb. 2006. Honesty in accounting and control: A discussion of “The effect of information systems on honesty in managerial reporting: A behavioural perspective. Contemporary Accounting Research, 23(4): 919-932.
  • Libby, T., Salterio, S. and A. Webb. 2004. The Balanced Scorecard: The Effects of Asurance and Process Accountability on Managerial Judgement. The Accounting Review, 79(4):1075-1094.
  • Webb, A. 2004. Manager's Commitment to Goals in a Strategic Performance Management System. Contemporary Accounting Research, 21(4): 925-958.
  • Atkinson, A. and A. Webb. 2004. Responsible Hands: A Director's Guide to Risk and its Management, CMA Management, November: 20-26.
  • Salterio, S. and A. Webb. 2003.  The Balanced Scorecard: Rhetoric versus Research. CA Magazine , August: 39-41.
  • Webb, A. 2002. The Impact of Reputation and Variance Investigations on the Creation of Budget Slack. Accounting, Organizations and Society , 27(4/5): 361-378.
  • Gibbins, M., Salterio, S., and A. Webb. 2001.  Evidence About Auditor-Client Management Negotiation about the Client's Financial Reporting. Journal of Accounting Research, 39(3): 532-566.

Working papers

  • Fisher, J., T. Mitchell, S. Peffer and A. Webb. 2013. Detecting misreporting in subordinate budgets.
  • Kelly, K., T. Vance and A. Webb. 2013. The Interactive Effects of Goal Difficulty and Subjectivity on Performance.
  • Copies of working papers can be obtained from SSRN.

Courses taught

  • Accounting and Financial Management (AFM) 102: Introductory Management Accounting
  • Accounting (ACC) 685: Performance Management
  • ACC 781: Introduction to Accounting Research
  • ACC 784: Behavioral Research in Accounting


  • 2013 Management Accounting Section, American Accounting Association (AAA) Annual Meeting, Outstanding Management Accounting Paper Award
  • 2011 Management Accounting Section, AAA Annual Meeting, Outstanding Management Accounting Paper Award
  • 2011 FCA awarded by Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario
  • 2011 Canadian Academic Accounting Association  L.S. Rosen Outstanding Educator Award
  • 2009 Notable Contribution to the Auditing Literature Award, American Accounting Association, with M. Gibbins and S. Salterio. "Evidence About Auditor-Client Management Negotiation Concerning Client's Financial Reporting."

Selected funding

  • Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) 2009. $58,610. The Effects of Providing Strategic Performance Information to Corporate Directors: A Field Study. With T. Atkinson and N. Kotchetova.
  • CMA/Canadian Academic Accounting Association (CAAA) 2008. $8,600. The Role of Corporate Directors in Strategy Related Issues. With T. Atkinson and N. Kotchetova.
  • Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA)/CAAA 2008. $4,740. Creating Bias in Accounting Estimates: The Effects of Manager-Subordinate Relationship Quality and Ethical Concerns. With J. Kennedy and T. Vance.
  • SSHRC 2005. $68,654. Factors Affecting Goal Difficulty and Performance in Participative Goal Settings.
  • Copperthwaite Centre for Professional Accounting Education 2004. $31,330. The Effects of Group Response Systems on Student Engagement and Exam Performance. With C. Carnaghan.
  • CICA/CAAA 2001. $10,000. The Balanced Scorecard: The Effects of Assurance and Process Accountability on Managerial Judgment.

Editorial boards

  • Associate Editor: Contemporary Accounting Research (2006 - present)
  • Editorial Boards: Behavioral Research in Accounting (2008 - present)

Professional service

  • Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario: Council Member (June 2009 - present)
  • Society of Management Accountants of Ontario, Level I Exam Review Seminar Leader (2001-2006)
University of Waterloo

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