Derek Oler, Ph.D.
Derek is the Jerry S. Rawls Associate Professor of Accounting at the Rawls College
of Business. He joined the accounting area at Texas Tech University in July 2009;
previously, Derek was an assistant professor at the Kelley School of Business at Indiana
University. Derek currently teaches intermediate accounting (II) in the undergraduate
accounting program and the accounting capstone course in the graduate accounting program.
He was born and raised in Alberta, Canada, where he graduated from the University
of Alberta and then worked as an auditor for the Auditor General of Alberta and for
KPMG before returning to school at Cornell University to obtain his Ph.D. Derek is
an avid cyclist who has most recently participated in the "Hotter 'n Hell Hundred"
in Wichita Falls, Texas. He is married and has two children.
My research interests focus on two key areas: First, conflicts of interest between managers and shareholders; second, on the efficiency of information processing in capital markets. Conflicts of interest between managers and shareholders are exacerbated when the firm has greater cash on hand than is needed for day to day operations. Therefore, when firms report high levels of cash on their financial statements they are more likely to make value-destructive decisions. I use stock price performance as my primary measure of corporate performance; however, as the stock price reflects the aggregate beliefs of market participants who are subject to cognitive constraints, it may not fully reflect the implications of a poor corporate decision immediately. Future returns may be predictable using information that suggests that agency problems are extreme. One area where both of these problems occur is in corporate mergers and acquisitions, and I find that acquisitions are especially value-destructive when the acquirer has also accumulated a large cash balance.
My work has been published in the Journal of Accounting Research, Review of Accounting Studies, Advances in Financial Economics, Personnel Psychology, and Strategic Organization. As my work is of interest to investors, my work has also been mentioned in the New York Times Dealbook and in Barron's. Derek's working papers are available for download on the Social Science Research Network (SSRN) website at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/cf_dev/AbsByAuth.cfm?per_id=336190