Adam Presslee

Associate Professor, Managerial Accounting; J. Page R. Wadsworth Chair in Accounting and Finance; Co-Director of CPA Ontario Centre for Sustainability Reporting and Performance Management

Office: 3161 Hagey Hall

Picture 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. 2023. The interactive effect of organizational identification and reward type on employees’ reward valuation. Contemporary Accounting Research, 40(3): 1733-1759.

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.