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Interpreting interpretive accounting research

Lee D. Parker

CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES ON ACCOUNTING, 2008, vol. 19, issue 6, 909-914

Abstract: This paper comments on the debate amongst European scholars regarding the development, place and role of interpretive research in the contemporary accounting research community and literature. It locates the presence, place and distinctiveness of the interpretive and qualitative research tradition in an increasingly unitary global accounting research community. Interpretive researchers are advised to avoid emulating characteristics of the positivist research community and to meet the challenge of going beyond critique to policy and practice engagement. The paper calls for a celebration and building of theoretical and methodological pluralism in the interpretive research community, focussing upon process, context and the embracing of complexity. Accounting researchers are challenged to continue seeking the new and the risky. They are presented with the dual tasks of defending their tradition while at the same time continuing to build its distinctive contributions to the accounting literature, all the while retaining a commitment to understanding, change and making a difference.

Date: 2008
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