Mark W. Dirsmith

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Professor Emeritus, Deloitte and Touche Professorship

Department Accounting

Email Address

Professor Dirsmith received the Deloitte & Touche Teaching Excellence Professorship in Accounting, 1999. He was selected by the Price Waterhouse Foundation for the competitive position of Price Waterhouse Auditing Professor, 1979-1993. Professor Dirsmith is a member of Penn State's Social Thought Program. He received the University-wide George W. Atherton Award for Teaching Excellence in 2005.Professor Dirsmith is a member of the American Accounting Association, American and Pennsylvania Institutes of CPAs, and Academy of Management. He serves as a member on editorial boards and is a manuscript reviewer for several accounting and management journals and the National Science Foundation. Professor Dirsmith has received research grants from the United Nations, National Association of Accountants, and Society of Management Accountants. He has made numerous research presentations at intenational, national and regional meetings of the American Accounting Association, the American Institute of Decision Sciences, the Academy of Management, the American Sociological Association, the Global Business and Technology Association, the International Conference on Systems Research, Information and Cybemetics, the National Association of Accountants, the Institute of Management Sciences, the Operations Research Society of America, and the Strategic Management Society, and Society for the Social Studies of Science.


Professor Dirsmith is the author of over one hundred publications, including three monographs and over seventy journal articles in accounting, institutional conomics, organizational theory, public administration, health care administration, sociology, and strategic management journals.


Ph D, Northwestern University, 1975

Courses Taught

ACCTG 403W – Auditing (3)
Financial, compliance, internal, and operational audits; standards and procedures; sampling; EDP auditing; professional issues; application of concepts through written responses.

ACCTG 496 – Independent Studies (variable)
Creative projects, including research and design, which are supervised on an individual basis and which fall outside the scope of formal courses.

ACCTG 494H – Accounting Senior Honors Thesis (variable)
Supervised student activities on research projects identified on an individual or small-group basis.

B A 412H – Honors Integration and Research (variable)
The integration of the business core into a detailed financial, strategy and market analysis of actual companies selected by student teams.

B A 574 – Business Research (variable)
A project paper, comparable in quality and scope of work to a graduate thesis, on problems of a company.

Selected Publications

Dirsmith M. W., Haskins M., "The linguistic relativity hypothesis applied to Big 5(4) public accounting firms' assessments of client internal controls.." Human Organization, vol. 66, no. 4, 2007, pp. 438-452
Dirsmith M. W., McElroy B., "The processual ordering of mental health care: The dramaturgical styles of contending political factions.." Studies in Symbolic Interaction, no. 29, 2007, pp. 117-151
Dirsmith M. W., Covaleski M., "Accounting in and for U.S. Governments and Non-Profits: A Review of Research and a call to Further Inquiry." Handbook of Management Accounting Research, (London Elsevier Publishing)
Dirsmith M. W., Covaleski M., Samuel S., "On the Eclipse of Professionalism in Accounting: An Essay." Accounting, Organizations and Institutions, (Oxford University Press), pp. 367-395
Dirsmith M. W., Weiss J., Covaleski M., "The Mesodomain of Welfare Reform: Re-negotiating the Order of Economic Inequality." Studies in Symbolic Interaction, vol. 38
Dirsmith M. W., Samuel S., Covaleski M., Heian J., "Boutique Sociology, So Hard to Say: "The Inter-Play of Power and Meta-Power in the Social Construction of 'Entrepreneurial' Professional Services Firms: A Processual Ordering Perspective"." Studies in Symbolic Interaction
Dirsmith M. W., Covaelski M., "Introduction: Sociological Perspectives of Accounting." Behavioral Research in Accounting, Special Issue, vol. 24, no. 1, pp. 131-135


ABO Section of the American Accounting Association, Subject Matter Editor, January 2011 - Present