Invitation to Participate in Research

The Show Must Go On: A Story of Mental Illness, Narratives, Discourses, and Stigmatization in the Canadian Accounting Profession


Principal Researcher:                                                          

David Albert Newman, DBA Candidate                                         

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1 (204) 330-4292 / 1 (204) 667-4023     



Dr. Albert Mills

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Dr. Kai Lamertz

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My name is David Albert Newman.  I am a Doctoral Candidate in the Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA) program at Athabasca University (AU). As a requirement to complete my degree, I am conducting a research project about self-presentation (impression management) challenges considering idealized images of the Canadian Professional Accountant.  With these challenges may come mental health issues and stigmatization that may extend to harassment concerning gender, race, ethnicity, political affiliation, religion (including secularism), and socio-economic class contributing to social ostracism.  I am conducting this project under the supervision of Dr. Albert Mills and Dr. Kai Lamertz.


I invite you to participate in this project because you are a Chartered Professional Accountant in the Canadian Accounting Profession who may have experienced self-presentation (impression management) challenges amid the idealized CPA image, mental health issues, and stigmatization.


The purpose of this research project is to understand whether there are Chartered Professional Accountants (CPA) in the Canadian Accounting Profession (CAP) who have had self-presentation challenges compared to the idealized accountant image, and whether these challenges and suspicion or disclosure in the workplace of mental illnesses contributes to stigmatization.  A second purpose is to understand if the stigmatization and any harassment extends to other individual characteristics such as gender, race, ethnicity, political affiliation, religion (including secularism), and socio-economic class contributing to social ostracism.  The lived experience narratives from interviews will be aggregated and compared to the CPA Canada institutional discourses to see if the localized lived experiences converge with and/or diverge from the broader messaging.  An overarching perspective is that of a potential false dichotomy between the selves: accounting economic rationality (E.g., efficiency, effectiveness, and profit maximization) and perceptions of mental illness irrationality (E.g., views about dangerousness, violence, childishness, irresponsibility, etc.) and thus, are not capable to be rational economic agents.


Your participation in this project would involve a one-to-one-and-a-half-hour audio recorded virtual interview via Zoom and any required clarification follow up.  The follow up would provide the opportunity to alter and to clarify initial comments in the interview transcript.  The interview would be arranged for a time and day that is convenient to your schedule.


All information you provide during the study will be anonymized and coded as CPA 1, CPA 2, etc., will be stored on a secure laptop and in a locked filing cabinet to prevent unauthorized access and will be destroyed after completion of my DBA thesis defence.  The data will not be deposited into any form of data repository.  Confidentiality will be assured between the researcher and the participants as exemplified by the Informed Consent Form.


The research should benefit Canadian Professional Accountants to minimize mental health issues, stigmatization, harassment, and social ostracism.  There may also be other practical benefits to:

·Minimize stigmatization and harassment (bullying and mobbing) toward gender, race, ethnicity, political affiliation, religion (including secularism), and socio-economic class.

·Positively impact mental health and wellbeing, productivity, presenteeism, absenteeism, short-term, and long-term disability costs.

·Ensure accounting and other employers meet the duty to reasonably accommodate mental health issues in the workplace.


The risks of participation in this study may occur for participants who have had significant mental health issues, stigmatization, and harassment as they may re-live the traumas; however, the research outlet may also be therapeutic as having the opportunity to express a voice and to sympathetically be heard while contributing to the study benefits.  I will counsel the upset, distressed, or disturbed individuals as a Certified Psychological Health and Safety Advisor and advise that these participants also access their CPA Provincial Institute Member and Family Assistance Program free of charge benefit included with their CPA membership to mitigate risks.


In appreciation for your time, you will receive an emailed pre-paid credit card for $50 upon acceptance to participate and even if you withdraw at any time.


Thank you for considering this invitation. If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact me, David Albert Newman, DBA Candidate by e-mail External link opens in new tab or and by phone at 1 (204) 330-4292 / 1 (204) 667-4023, or my co-supervisors Dr. Albert Mills and Dr. Kai Lamertz by email at External link opens in new tab or and External link opens in new tab or respectively.


Thank you.


David Albert Newman


This project has been reviewed by the Athabasca University Research Ethics Board. Should you have any comments or concerns about your treatment as a participant, the research, or ethical review processes, please contact the Research Ethics Officer by e-mail at External link opens in new tab or or by telephone at 780.213.2033.