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Cheryl McWatters

Cheryl <strong>
Full Professor
Father Edgar Thivierge Chair in Business History (cross appointment with the Department of History, Faculty of Arts
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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Full Professor of Accounting 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 classroom, as well as pursuing an array of research in the history of accounting and business. Cheryl 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, Organizations and Society, and the Accounting Historians Journal. She is active in a variety of professional and international research organisations including the current president (2019-2021) of the AHMO (Association pour l'histoire du management et des organisations), and a member of the Conseil d’Adminstration of the Réseau français des Instituts d'études Avancées (appointed in 2012, re-appointed in 2018). Cheryl served on the CAAA Board of Directors as president-elect, president and past-president from 2015 to 2018, and is a member of the Executive Committee of the Senior Women Academic Administrators of Canada (SWAAC) and of its ‘Women Lead’ initiative.

At Telfer, Cheryl has served previously on School Council, the Research Committee, Graduate Programs Committee, and Executive Committee. At uOttawa, Cheryl was a member of the Social Sciences Research Ethics Board for several years, of the University Pensions Policy Committee, and an active and longstanding member of the APUO board. Prior to joining the Telfer School of Management, she was a full professor at the University of Alberta and associate professor at McGill University, where she held a number of senior administrative posts. Her research has led to long-standing international collaborations including visiting professorships in France, Australia and the United States. Her research publications have been recognised for innovation and 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.

Dr. McWatters’ research focuses on accounting and its implication in diverse social, cultural, and multi-faceted institutional contexts. 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 eighteenth to twenty-first 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; in the present-day context, the implementation of advanced manufacturing technologies and the interface of accounting and psychiatry. Her edited volume, Mercantilism, Account Keeping and the Periphery-Core Relationship (2019) demonstrates the transdisciplinary nature of her research collaborations. Cheryl has received SSHRC funding to pursue such transdisciplinary work with very recent grants as principal investigator (‘The Stable Money Association: The Performativity of Economic Models’), and collaborator with Dr. Catherine Liston-Heyes, Faculty of Social Science (‘The Role of Internal Audit Reports in Public Sector Risk Management’).

Publications during the last 7 years

Papers in Refereed Journals

  • McWatters, C.S. 2021. Accounting [in] history in the COVID-19 era. Accounting History Review, 31(3): 253-254.
  • McWatters, C.S. 2020. Accounts and assemblage: twists, turns, and the tales we tell. Accounting History Review, 30(3): 251-262.
  • McWatters, C.S. 2018. Indeed, ‘they do things differently there’. Accounting History Review, 28(1): 1-3.
  • McWatters, C.S. 2018. Coincidences, contingencies, multiplicities and patterns. Accounting History Review, 28(3): 145-148.
  • 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, 629-643.
  • McWatters, C.S. 2016. En attendant Gaignot / Waiting for Gaignot. Accounting History Review, 26(3): 165-168.
  • McWatters, C.S. 2016. Speculation, history, speculative history. Accounting History Review, 26(1): 1-4.
  • 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. Mercantilism, Account Keeping and the Periphery-Core Relationship. London, UK: Routledge, 2019.
  • McWatters, C.S. and Zimmerman, J.L. Management Accounting in a Dynamic Environment. London and New York: Routledge, 2016.

Chapters in Books

  • Lemarchand, Y. and McWatters, C.S. Credit and Debt. In Burnard, T.. Oxford Bibliographies in Atlantic History. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2022.
  • McWatters, C.S. Mercantilism and Accounting Across Space and Time. In Mercantilism, Account Keeping and the Periphery-Core Relationship. London, UK: Routledge, 2019.
  • McWatters, C.S. and Lemarchand, Y. Trade, truck, barter, and custom: the markets for slave-trade merchandise in Africa. In McWatters, C.S.. Mercantilism, Account Keeping and the Periphery-Core Relationship. London and New York: Routledge, 2019.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Lemarchand, Y. and McWatters, C.S. Avant-propos. In Touchelay, B. and Praquin, N. Dictionnaire Historique, Analytique et Critique de Comptabilité des Entreprises. France: Presses Universitaires du Septentrion, 2016.

Other Scholarly Contributions

  • (Book review) McWatters, C.S. 2020. "Accounting for Slavery: Masters and Management by Caitlin Rosenthal". Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2018. xiv + 295pp. Figures, tables, notes, index. Cloth; ISBN 9780674972094, US $35.00, Paper; ISBN 9780674241657, US $18.95, Canadian Business Association Online []
  • (Book review) McWatters, C.S. 2019. "Accounting for Alcohol: an accounting history of brewing, distilling and vigniculture".

Funded Research during the last 7 years

Funded Research during the last 7 years
From-To Source Title * ** Role Amount
2019-2023 SSHRC The Role of Internal Audit Reports in Public Sector Risk Management R C Collaborator $ 83,660
2018-2023 SSHRC The Stable Money Association: The Performativity of Economic Models (Co-investigator M.E. Persson, University of Illinois, previously Ivey Business School) R C PI $ 35,800
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
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 N/A
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 N/A


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

C: Granting Councils | G: Government | F: Foundations | I: UO Internal Funding | O: Other | U: Unknown

PI = Principal Investigator | Co-I = Co-Investigator | Co-PI = Co-Principal Investigator

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