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Evaluation of Literature Reviews of Three Articles Essay

A literature review is a report of information published earlier from books, journals, newspapers, or any reliable articles that show relevance and significance to the research study being conducted. It is not just a summary of knowledge and scholarly opinions on a specific topic by scholars and academic researchers, but it is also a critical analysis of various literatures that seeks to determine what knowledge and ideas are already known that serve as the guide and support to the thesis statement and objective of the research study being conducted (Taylor, 2006).

A literature review is the part of an academic research study that helps understand the research problem. From this, it can be viewed that a literature review must have the following criteria: (1) shows diversity of ideas, theories and opinions by reviewing the most recent literatures but also acknowledges old literatures whenever needed (e.g. for historical purposes); (2) not simply summarizes the literatures available but most importantly, it critically analyzes, describes, and compares such literatures in an organized manner; and (3) should address the issues or problems that leads to the achievement of the objectives of the research study being carried out.

A good literature review can be best described by analyzing the literature review section of at least three articles, comparing and contrasting them using the four criteria mentioned above. Article 1 is entitled ‘Integrating Earnings and Cash Flows Per Common Share’. The article aims to determine the importance of reporting both the earnings per share and the cash flow per share and how such reports can provide information about the financial health of an organization. Article 1’s literature review is good because it was able to present various recently published studies that show what happened when only the earnings per share was reported, giving emp hasis on the importance of timely reporting both the earnings per share and the cash flow per share ; that is, it was able to provide a good theoretical framework for the study, helping the authors achieve the article’s objective.

The authors are aware of the purpose of the study and that the article is intended for accountants, financial analysts, managers and accounting and finance students, thus they were able to review and analyze significant past studies that can address the issue without the need to define technical financial terms. Most of these studies were published recently, between the years 1997 to 2005, ensuring that the content of the literature review is not outdated for timeliness is important in dealing with technical issues like financial and accounting issues.

The review also reflects a diversity of relevant ideas about the topic. However, the literature review is not well organized; a literature is discussed in a paragraph and the next paragraph discusses another literature without logically correlating one from the other as if the next paragraph is for another topic. The authors could have used words such as moreover, for instance, or furthermore that help readers understand clearly the comparisons and relationships between the literatures being reviewed.

The next article is entitled ‘Security Returns and the Value Relevance of Accounting Data’ which was published in 1999. The article is very technical in nature that readers without a good background in accounting cannot be able to fully understand the article. In fact the article was presented at the American Accounting Association Doctoral Consortium and at the American Accounting Association/Taiwan Accounting Association First Globalization Conference, which means that the author is very much aware of the audience who will benefit the article. Since it was presented in a conference of professional accountants, the article can be used as an academic source for students and other accountants.

It aims on determining the relationship and relevance between a firm’s accounting data and the returns it gained. The literatures reviewed present evidences that address this issue and show that accounting data reflect the financial gains, conditions and events in a firm which are important in decision-making.

However, the journals used as references are quite old which were actually published between the years 1940 and 1999. It would be better if the authors found and used research studies that have recent and newer ideas about the issue because “the more recent the study, the more valuable it tends to be” (Literature Review, 2004.). The literature review is also very brief but shows comprehensiveness and organization although it does not show a diversity of opinion because it uses only few literatures.

The third article is about human resource management entitled ‘Why people stay: using job embeddedness to predict voluntary turnover’ published in 2000. Its literature review section reviews and compares various peer-reviewed journals and academic books that dealt with theories about employee turnover, motivation, job satisfaction, employee attitudes, organizational behavior, and job commitment. Among the three articles, this article is the most organized research study as well as the one having the most diverse ideas and theories, resulting to a very comprehensive review.

It uses headings and subheadings to indicate changes in topic and subtopics. Its content includes past and current theories, reflecting that the authors acknowledged and effectively integrated these theories to come up with better findings that help achive the objectives of the study. The authors have effectiveley compared and contrasted such theories that resulted to more reliable conclusions. The review is an effective reference to managers, professionals, and various organizations as well as students to be able to have knowledge on employee retention.

References:

Easton, P. (1999) Security Returns and the Value Relevance of Accounting Data,

Accounting Horizons 13:4, pp.399-412

“Literature Review” (2004) retrieved online on March 9, 2007

http://library.ups.edu/instruct/ricig/comm105/litreview.htm

Mitchell, T., Holtom, B., Lee, T., and Erez, M (2000) Why People Stay: Using Job

Embeddedness to Predict Voluntary Turnover

Academy of Management Journal, 44:8; 1102-1121

Stone, K. and Niemeyer, R. (2005) Integrating Earnings and Cash Flows Per Common

Share, The Journal of Theoretical Accounting Research, Fall, 1, 1, Accounting and Tax Periodicals, pp. 63- 76

Taylor, Dena (2006) The Literature Review: A Few Tips on Conducting It

Retrieved online on March 9, 2007

http://www.utoronto.ca/writing/litrev.html

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