Dr Orla Lenihan

BComm, MAcc, FCA, PhD

Contact Details

Lecturer Above The Bar
DEPT. OF ACCOUNTANCY & FINANCE
NUI GALWAY
E: ORLA.LENIHAN@nuigalway.ie
 
researcher
 

Biography

Dr. Orla Lenihan is a lecturer in Accounting and Finance at the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics, NUI Galway. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce and a Master of Accounting (both first class honours) from NUI Galway, and a PhD in Accounting and Corporate Governance from University College Dublin. Orla is a Fellow of Chartered Accountants Ireland, having qualified as a chartered accountant with PricewaterhouseCoopers. Orla's research draws on economic and motivational theories to examine the design and effectiveness of corporate governance mechanisms and performance measurement practices. In particular, Orla focuses on organisational approaches to managing and incentivizing sustainable performance. She has received funding from the Irish Accounting and Finance Association (IAFA) and the Smurfit Graduate School of Business. Orla previously held a faculty position at the University of Limerick (UL), where she was awarded the UL Award for Excellence in Large Group Teaching and the IAFA Scholar Award. She has international conference publications at the American Accounting Association, the Accounting and Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand, the European Accounting Association, the British Accounting and Finance Association, and the British Academy of Management.

Research Interests

Orla's primary research interests are in the areas of corporate governance and performance measurement, with a particular focus on environmental sustainability. In relation to corporate governance, Orla's work includes examining the roles of boards and executive incentives in addressing climate change. With regard to performance measurement, Orla investigates how performance measurement systems are used to manage and attain corporate environmental goals. Her research draws on a combination of organisational theories including agency theory, stakeholder theory, optimal contracting, goal-setting theory, and performance-measure informativeness. While Orla predominantly employs econometric models to analyse archival data, she is also receptive to case-study methodological approaches.                        
Orla was previously awarded the Irish Accounting and Finance Association Scholar Award, a national research award that identifies, supports and funds early-career scholars in the Irish accounting and finance community. Orla has won competitive research funding from the Smurfit Graduate School of Business and the Irish Accounting and Finance Association. 

Conference Publications

  Year Publication
(2019) British Accounting and Finance Association Annual Conference
Lenihan, O. and Brennan, N.M. (2019) CEO performance-based bonuses: Linking firm strategies to performance measures British Accounting and Finance Association Annual Conference University of Birmingham, [Details]
(2019) 32nd Irish Accounting and Finance Association Annual Conference
Lenihan, O. and Brennan, N.M. (2019) Non-GAAP reporting practices in compensation disclosures 32nd Irish Accounting and Finance Association Annual Conference Dublin City University, [Details]
(2018) 32nd British Academy of Management Annual Conference
Lenihan, O. and Brennan, N.M. (2018) Target-setting practices in CEO bonus plans 32nd British Academy of Management Annual Conference University of the West of England, Bristol, [Details]
(2018) 58th Accounting and Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand Annual Conference
Lenihan, O. and Brennan, N.M. (2018) Performance measures in CEO annual incentive plans: New evidence from the Compensation Discussion and Analysis 58th Accounting and Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand Annual Conference Auckland, New Zealand, [Details]
(2018) 31st Irish Accounting and Finance Association Annual Conference
Lenihan, O. and Brennan, N.M. (2018) Performance measures in CEO annual incentive plans: New evidence from the Compensation Discussion and Analysis 31st Irish Accounting and Finance Association Annual Conference University of Limerick, [Details]
(2018) 31st Irish Accounting and Finance Association Annual Conference
Lenihan, O. and Brennan, N.M. (2018) Target-setting practices in CEO bonus plans 31st Irish Accounting and Finance Association Annual Conference University of Limerick, [Details]
(2016) 19th Irish Academy of Management Annual Conference
Lenihan, O. and Brennan, N.M. (2016) CEO performance-based bonus: An insight into firms’ target-setting practices 19th Irish Academy of Management Annual Conference University College Dublin, [Details]
(2016) 39th European Accounting Association Annual Congress
Lenihan, O. and Brennan, N.M. (2016) Target-setting in CEO bonus plans: Evidence from the Compensation Discussion and Analysis 39th European Accounting Association Annual Congress Maastricht, [Details]
(2016) 29th Irish Accounting and Finance Association Annual Conference
Lenihan, O. (2016) A study of CEO annual incentive plans: Performance measures, performance targets, and performance outcomes 29th Irish Accounting and Finance Association Annual Conference Waterford Institute of Technology, [Details]
(2015) American Accounting Association 2nd Annual Global Emerging Scholars Research Workshop
Lenihan, O. (2015) CEO annual bonus and performance target obfuscation: An empirical investigation American Accounting Association 2nd Annual Global Emerging Scholars Research Workshop Chicago, [Details]
(2015) 28th Irish Accounting and Finance Association Annual Conference
Lenihan, O. (2015) An analysis of performance targets in CEO bonus plans 28th Irish Accounting and Finance Association Annual Conference Dublin Institute of Technology, [Details]
(2015) 38th European Accounting Association Annual Congress
Lenihan, O. and Brennan, N.M. (2015) CEO compensation disclosures: A study of impression management tactics 38th European Accounting Association Annual Congress Glasgow, [Details]
(2011) 24th Irish Accounting and Finance Association Annual Conference
Lenihan, O. (2011) A review of the use of case studies in accounting education: Ireland and the UK 24th Irish Accounting and Finance Association Annual Conference University College Cork, [Details]
(2011) British Accounting and Finance Association Accounting Education Annual Conference
Lenihan, O. (2011) A review of the use of case studies in accounting education: Ireland and the UK British Accounting and Finance Association Accounting Education Annual Conference University of Winchester, [Details]

Honours and Awards

  Year Title Awarding Body
2016 Awarded the Irish Accounting and Finance Association Scholar Award Irish Accounting and Finance Association
2014 Nominated to represent the Irish Accounting and Finance Association at the American Accounting Association Doctoral Consortium Irish Accounting and Finance Association
2013 Awarded the University of Limerick Award for Excellence in Large Group Teaching University of Limerick
2012 Nominated for the University of Limerick Award for Excellence in Large Group Teaching University of Limerick

Professional Associations

  Association Function From / To
European Accounting Association Member 01-JAN-15 /
Chartered Accountants Ireland Fellow Chartered Accountant 31-OCT-07 /
British Accounting and Finance Association Member 01-JAN-11 /
Irish Accounting and Finance Association Member 01-JAN-11 /

Committees

  Committee Function From / To
MSc in Corporate Finance Programme Board Member 01-JUL-21 /
Professional Diploma in Accounting Programme Review Board Board Member 01-JAN-19 / 01-OCT-19
BA Law and Accounting Student Status Committee Chair 01-SEP-16 / 01-SEP-17
BA Law and Accounting Course Board Chair 01-SEP-16 / 01-SEP-17
Irish Accounting and Finance Association Council Council Member 01-MAY-15 / 01-MAY-17
Professional Diploma in Accounting Course Board Chair 01-MAY-13 / 01-SEP-16

Employment

  Employer Position From / To
University of Limerick Associate Teacher 01-SEP-10 / 31-JAN-21
Mazars Senior Auditor 01-JUL-08 / 01-AUG-09
Limerick College of Business Studies ACCA lecturer 01-SEP-09 / 31-AUG-10
PricewaterhouseCoopers Assistant Manager 01-OCT-04 / 31-OCT-07

Education

  Year Institution Qualification Subject
2007 Chartered Accountants Ireland FCA Accounting
2019 University College Dublin PhD Accounting and Corporate Governance
2003 NUI Galway BComm Accounting
2004 NUI Galway MAcc Accounting

Reviews

  Journal Role
Accounting, Auditing And Accountability Journal Reviewer
British Accounting Review Reviewer
British Accounting Review Reviewer

Other Activities

  Description

2014-2017: External Examiner, School of Business, Institute of Technology Carlow

Teaching Interests

Teaching
Orla teaches sustainable finance and accounting, corporate finance, and quantitative research methods to postgraduate students. Her teaching philosophy revolves around three concepts:
(1) Providing students with a value-added learning experience
Orla integrates a number of pedagogical tools such as multi-media case studies, commercial databases, websites, corporate examples, and articles to provide students with a beneficial learning experience during class.
(2) Promoting active participation during classes
Orla relies on pair work, group work, show of hands, 
class polls, shout-outs, whiteboard, and presentations to encourage active student engagement with the material.
(3) Making use of disciplinary research to benefit student learning 
Orla commits to a research-led teaching approach by designing assessments, such as article discussions, literature-review assignments and research-based group projects, to promote students' research skills.

Teaching awards
Orla has won a university teaching award (University of Limerick) in recognition of her teaching excellence including aspects such as her energy in the classroom, the way in which she connects and interacts with the students, the engaging way in which she thinks through how material in her discipline should best be taught, and the hugely positive responses from her students. 

Curriculum development
Orla previously led the introduction of the Professional Diploma in Accounting programme at University of Limerick. She was responsible for designing each module's core syllabus to ensure it met expected student learning outcomes and professional accountancy body requirements for accreditation. She also moderated exam papers and monitored teaching effectiveness on this programme to provide assurance of learning for accreditation purposes.

Modules Taught

  Term/Year Module Title Module Code Subject / Desc
Semester 2 2022 Analytical and Communication Skills Development AY5126
Semester 1 2021 Accounting for Managers AY532
Semester 1 2021 Investment and Financing Decisions AY5104
Semester 2 2022 Sustainable Finance and Accounting AY5132