Raymond J. Chambers - A Personal Reflection
I was working in a (then) fairly insignificant accounting department of what was at the time a small university in New Zealand when I was charged with the responsibility of accompanying Ray Chambers and his wife Margaret to dinner. He had accepted an invitation to the University from its Accounting Student Society and for us it was a great occasion—to have such a distinguished, internationally- acclaimed visitor. During a wide-ranging conversation that evening, Ray suggested I consider joining his Department at the University of Sydney as he thought I would find it (intellectually) stimulating. I took up his suggestion and did not live to regret it. The Department was indeed an intellectually energetic place and working with Chambers was a stimulating experience: I learned a lot from him—most especially the need to aspire to intellectual rigour in my work. In this, Chambers certainly led by example and, over the years, while many people did not accept the conclusions in the theory he developed, I believe it is generally agreed by those who are familiar with his work and the context in which it was written that he demonstrated the highest standards of scholarship in developing and promoting his ideas. It has been internationally acknowledged that he was truly one of accounting’s greatest scholars. For example, Staubus (2003) has referred to him as ‘an intellectual giant’; Moonitz (1982) as an ‘accounting pioneer’. There is also evidence of his recognition in the large number of awards, citations and other prestigious forms of recognition he received.