Kristy Towry

Photo of
  • Vice Dean for Faculty & Research
  • Goizueta Term Chair
  • Professor of Accounting
  • Phone: 404-727-4895
  • Fax: 404-727-6313

Mailing Address:

1300 Clifton Road
Atlanta, GA 30322


Kristy L. Towry is Vice Dean of Faculty and Research, Goizueta Term Chair, and Professor of Accounting at Emory University's Goizueta Business School. Professor Towry joined the Goizueta Business School faculty in 2002, after receiving her Ph.D. from The University of Texas at Austin. She has extensive experience in managerial accounting and finance, including a number of positions at Exxon and Compaq. Professor Towry's research relates to the use of accounting information for managerial decision making, with a focus on managerial control systems and financial incentives. Her research, based on the experimental method, blends theory from economics, psychology, and other social sciences to provide insights into accounting issues. She has published in The Accounting Review, Contemporary Accounting Research, Review of Accounting Studies, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and other accounting and economics journals. She has been recognized with the Notable Contributions to the Management Accounting Literature Award, the Best Early Career Researcher in Management Accounting Award, the Glen McLaughlin Award for Research in Accounting Ethics, the Management Accounting Best Dissertation Award, and a number of teaching awards.


  • Vicarious Learning under Implicit Contracts (with J. Choi, I. Tafkov, and G. Hecht), Forthcoming at The Accounting Review.
  • Turning Up the Volume: An Experimental Investigation of the Role of Mutual Monitoring (with R.L. Hannan and Y. Zhang), Contemporary Accounting Research, 2013.
  • Framing Sticks as Carrots: An Experimental Investigation of Contract Frame and Effort in Agency Relationships (with K. Sedatole and M. Christ), The Accounting Review, 2012.
  • Discussion of "Subordinates as the First Line of Defense Against Biased Financial Reporting," Journal of Management Accounting Research, 2012.
  • Does the Communication of Causal Linkages Improve Effort Allocations? An Experimental Investigation (with A.M. Farrell and K.K. Kadous), Journal of Management Accounting Research, 2012.
  • Performance Spillover in a Multi-Task Environment (with G. Hecht and I. Tafkov), Contemporary Accounting Research, 2012.
  • In Search of Informed Discretion: An Experimental Investigation of Fairness and Trust Reciprocity (with V. Maas and M. van Rinsum), The Accounting Review, 2012.
  • Dividing the Pie: The Influence of Managerial Discretion Extent on Bonus Pool Allocation (with W.J. Bailey and G. Hecht), Contemporary Accounting Research, 2011.
  • Flattening the Organization: The Effect of Organizational Reporting Structure on Honesty in Managerial Reporting (with W.F. Rankin and R.L. Hannan), Review of Accounting Studies, 2010.
  • Recordkeeping Alters Economic History by Promoting Reciprocity (with S. Basu, J. Dickhaut, G. Hecht, and G. Waymire). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2009.
  • Contracting on Contemporaneous vs. Forward Looking Measures: An Experimental Investigation (with A.M. Farrell and K.K. Kadous). Contemporary Accounting Research, 2008).
  • When Formal Controls Undermine Trust and Cooperation (with M.H. Christ, K.L. Sedatole, and M.A. Thomas). Strategic Finance, 2008.
  • The Effect of Information Systems on Honesty in Managerial Reporting: A Behavioral Perspective (with W.F. Rankin and R.L. Hannan), Contemporary Accounting Research, 2006.
  • Quantification and Persuasion in Managerial Judgment (with K.K. Kadous and L.L. Koonce), Contemporary Accounting Research, 2005.
  • The Effect of Control on Trust and Cooperation in Collaborative Environments (with A.L. Coletti and K.L. Sedatole), The Accounting Review, 2005.
  • The Limitations of Experimental Design: A Case Study Involving Monetary Incentive Effects in Laboratory Markets (with S.J. Kachelmeier), Experimental Economics, 2005.
  • Control in a Teamwork Environment -- The Impact of Social Ties on the Effectiveness of Mutual Monitoring Contracts, The Accounting Review, 2003.
  • Negotiated Transfer Pricing: Is Fairness Easier Said than Done? (with S.J. Kachelmeier), The Accounting Review, 2002.
  • Pecos Products: A Project Introducing Complexity into the Study of Activity-Based Costing (with D.E. Platt), Issues in Accounting Education, 2001.

Working Papers

Areas of Specialization

  • Managerial Accounting
  • Internal Audit
  • Behavioral Economics

Achievements and Honors

  • Emory Williams Teaching Award, 2015
  • American Accounting Association Notable Contributions to Management Accounting Literature Award, 2009
  • "Best Paper" Award, AAA Management Accounting Section Midyear Meeting, Seattle, WA, 2010
  • Goizueta Evening MBA Core Distinguished Educator Award, 2009, 2012
  • Best Early Career Researcher in Managerial Accounting, 2008 (sponsored by AICPA, CIMA, & CMA)
  • Goizueta Full-Time MBA Excellence in Teaching Award, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007
  • Alumni Award for Excellence in Research, 2006
  • Adler Teaching Prize, 2006
  • McLaughlin Prize for Research in Accounting Ethics, 2004
  • American Accounting Association Managerial Accounting Best Dissertation, 2003
  • Institute of Internal Auditors Michael J. Barrett Dissertation Grant
  • McCombs School of Business Fred Moore Teaching Award
  • Deloitte and Touche Foundation Doctoral Fellow

Memberships and Activities

  • American Accounting Association
  • Economic Science Association
  • Institute of Managerial Accountants
  • Institute of Internal Auditors
  • Society for Judgment and Decision Making


  • Ph.D. Accounting, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 2002
  • Master's Business Administration in Accounting and Finance , Texas A&M, College Station, TX 1988
  • Bachelor's Science in Mathematics and Computer Science, Northwestern State University of Louisiana, Natchitoches, LA 1982