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M<sup><u>c</u></sup>Watters, Cheryl

McWatters, Cheryl

Father Edgar Thivierge Chair in Business History (cross appointment with the Department of History, Faculty of Arts
Full Professor
B.A. (Hon.) (Queen's), M.B.A. (with distinction) (Queen's), CMA (Certified Management Accountant), Ph.D. (Queen's), CPA, CMA (Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario)
DMS 7103
613-562-5800 x 4702
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Research Areas
  • Accounting
  • History/Historiography
  • History/Historiography
  • Management
  • Management Control
  • Mercantilism
  • Networks
  • Performance Measurement
  • Theory
  • Theory


Full Professor and the Father Edgar Thivierge Chair in Business History at the Telfer School of Management (cross appointment with the Department of History,, Faculty of Arts), Dr. Cheryl Susan McWatters brings the history of business and management to the graduate and undergraduate classroom, as well as pursuing an array of research in the history of accounting and business. She is editor of Accounting History Review (formerly Accounting, Business and Financial History), associate editor of the Journal of Operations Management and Accounting Perspectives, and a member of the editorial boards of Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal and Accounting Historians Journal. She serves on the Board of Trustees of the Academy of Accounting Historians, and was Academy president in 2009. Prior to joining the Telfer School of Management, Dr. McWatters was a full professor at the University of Alberta and associate professor at McGill University. Her research has led to a number of long-standing international collaborations including visiting professorships in France, Australia and the United States, most recently at the Maison des Sciences de l'Homme Ange-Guépin, Université de Nantes, and Université Paris-Sud. She is a member of the Conseil d'Administration (board of directors) of the Réseau français des instituts d'études avancées. Her research publications have been recognised for excellence, garnering numerous research and best-paper awards including the Accounting History Review 2013 Best-Article Award and the Shingo Research Prize for Excellence in Manufacturing Research. Professor McWatters is active in a variety of professional and international research organisations.

Dr. McWatters' research focuses on the embeddedness of accounting within a multi-faceted institutional and social context. In particular, her studies investigate seventeenth- and eighteenth-century global commerce and trading networks in which accounting acts as an integrative and facilitating mechanism across space and time. More generally, her research examines the response of organisations to environmental cues in historical and contemporary settings including the impact of economic, social and technological change from the 18th to the 21st century. These studies span (amongst others) the rise of mercantilism and the influence of milieu on commercial activity, the introduction of steam and telegraph, the impacts of wartime economies on business strategies; and in the present-day context, the implementation of Just-In-Time (JIT) and Total Quality Management (TQM). Her work is cross-disciplinary nature, especially in its linkages with broader historiographical debates and its use of innovative research methodologies. Her teaching includes undergraduate and graduate courses in the history of management, accounting thought and management accounting. Dr. McWatters conducts her research in French and English, has taught in universities in France and Japan, and in a number of executive programs.

Dr. McWatters has published in a variety of journals including Accounting, Organizations and Society, Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, Journal of Operations Management, Droits, Accounting Historians Journal, Accounting History, Accounting History Review, and Accounting Business and Financial History. She has contributed to a number of collected volumes, most recently, Merchants and Profit in the Age of Commerce, 1680-1830 and Credit and Debt in Oxford Bibliographies in Atlantic History. She is also co-author of the textbook Management Accounting: Analysis and Interpretation.

Publications during the last 7 years


McWatters, C.S. and Zimmerman, J.L. Management Accounting in a Dynamic Environment. London and New York: Routledge, 2016.

McWatters, C.S. and Zimnovitch, H. Histoire des entreprises du transport: Évolutions comptables et managériales. Paris, France: L'Harmattan - Presses Universitaires de Sceaux, 2010.

Chapters in Books

Gervais, P. and McWatters, C.S. Globalisation. In Wilson, J., Toms, S. and de Jong, A.. Routledge Companion to Business History. Routledge/Taylor and Francis, London, 2017.

Foth, T., McWatters, C.S., Lange, J. and Connell, M.B. Treating through Threat and Fear – Nurses and the Fever Unit at the Ontario Hospital, Toronto 1940–1951. In Hähner-Rombach, S. and Nolte, K.. Patients and Social Practice of Psychiatric Nursing in the 19th and 20th Century. Germany: Franz Steiner Verlag, Stuttgart, 2017.

Lemarchand, Y., McWatters, C.S. and Pineau-Defois, L. The current account as cognitive artefact: stories and accounts of la Maison Chaurand. In Gervais, P., Lemarchand, Y. and Margairaz, D.. Merchant Management in the Age of Commerce, 1650-1850. London, UK: Pickering & Chatto, 2014.

Lemarchand, Y. and McWatters, C.S. Credit and Debt. In Burnard, T.. Oxford Bibliographies - Atlantic History. New York: Oxford University Press, 2013.

McWatters, C.S. and Lemarchand, Y. Quantifying the Qualitative: Merchant Networks Across Space and Time. In Gaudreault, R. and Malardier-Jugroot, C.. Cascades Festschrift in Honour of Professor Emeritus M.A.(Tony) Whitehead; The Richard Hart Symposium, McGill University. Kingsley, QC: Cascades, Inc., 2011.

McWatters, C.S. and Zimnovitch, H. Préface. In Histoire des enterprises du transport, évolutions comptables et managériales. Paris, France: Paris: L'Harmattan, 2010.

McWatters, C.S. and Fullerton, R.R. Firm Performance in Manufacturing Firms that use Non-financial Measures with JIT and TQM Strategies. In Shil, N. and Pramanik, A.. Research in Contemporary Cost and Management Accounting Practices: The Twenty First Century Perspective. Miami, US: North American Business Press, Ltd, 2010.

Papers in Refereed Journals

Touchelay, B. and McWatters, C.S. 2017. La comptabilité et l’expertise à l’origine d’un empire industriel : Marcel Boussac et la contribution extraordinaire sur les bénéfices de guerre 1916-1928. Revue du Nord.

McWatters, C.S., Chen, Q., Ding, S., Hou, W. and Wu, Z. 2016. Family Business Development in Mainland China from 1872 to 1949. Business History, 58(3): 408-432.

McWatters, C.S. and Lemarchand, Y. 2013. Merchant networks and accounting discourse: the role of accounting transactions in network relations. Accounting History Review, 22(1): 49-83.

Lemarchand, Y. and McWatters, C.S. 2011. Quelques aspects de la gestion de la traite négrière au XVIIIe siècle à travers l'exemple nantais . Droits, No. 51: 55-73.

McWatters, C.S. and Lemarchand, Y. 2010. Accounting as Story Telling: Merchant Activities and Commercial Relations in 18th-century France. Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, 23(1): 14-54.

Other Scholarly Contributions

(Book review) McWatters, C.S. 2013. "Bétrice Touchelay, L'État et l'entreprise: Une histoire de la normalisation comptable et fiscale à la française ". Volume 14, No. 4, pp. 880-882

(Book review) McWatters, C.S. 2011. "A Silent Revolution?". Volume 26, No. 4, 883-884

Funded Research during the last 7 years

Funded Research during the last 7 years
From-To Source Title * ** Role Amount
2013-2014 Telfer School of Management Research Fund (SMRF) Enemy mine: merchant networks, neutrality and wartime R I PI $ 6,000
2011 Telfer School of Management (4A SSHRC Program) Mercantilism and Accounting Records: A Longitudinal Analysis of Profits, Costing and The Hudson's Bay Company's Survival R I PI $ 6,000
2011 University of Ottawa Interdisciplinary Research Initiatives Program: Development of Interdisciplinary Initiatives in Corporate Social Responsibility: Department of History, Faculty of Arts and Telfer School of Management R I PI $ 4,000
2009-2012 Agence Nationale pour la recherche (ANR), France Projet MARPROF (Compte et profits marchands d'Europe et d'Amériques, 1750-1800 - Merchant accounting and profits in Europe and the Americas, 1750-1800) (International Collaborator) R C Co-I $ 427,000
2007 University of Alberta Killam Cornerstone Grant Program Grant for the APIRA (Asia-Pacific Interdisciplinary Research in Accounting) Conference, Auckland, New Zealand R O PI $ 3,600
2005 University of Alberta SSHRC 4A Award Self-Government Exists. How do we exercise it? R O PI $ 5,000
1998 McGill University Faculty of Management Small Research Grant The Kingston Shipping Company Limited: A Counter-Example in the History of Great Lakes Shipping R O PI $ 0
1995 McGill University Faculty of Management Small Research Grant Archival research related to "A Content-Analysis Study of Late-Nineteenth Century Accounting Records" R O PI $ 0

*Purpose = C: Contract (R and D), E: Equipment Grant, R: Research Grant, S: Support Award, P: Pedagogical Grant, O: Other, U: Unknown

**Type= C: Granting Councils, G: Government, F: Foundations, I: UO Internal Funding, O: Other, U: Unknown

Role: PI = Principal Investigator, Co-I = Co-Investigator, Co-PI = Co-Principal Investigator