Doing Qualitative Field Research in Management Accounting: Positioning Data to Contribute to Theory

Thomas Ahrens*, Christopher S. Chapman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter in a book

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In this chapter, we argue that theory, method, methodology, and knowledge gains in qualitative field studies are intertwined through the ongoing hypothesis development in the field. We develop our argument through a discussion of specific qualitative field studies in management accounting. We emphasise in particular the distinctive role of theory in qualitative research as relating to expression of a subjective reality more than clarification of an objective one. In considering this subjectivity, we discuss the ways in which the doing of qualitative research brings to bear discipline on the researcher allowing us to assess the trustworthiness of their accounts. The intention is to develop a more appropriate basis for judging the plausibility of qualitative field studies than notions borrowed from positivistic methodology.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbooks of Management Accounting Research
EditorsChristopher S Chapman, Anthony G Hopwood, Michael D Shields
PublisherElsevier Science
Pages299-318
Number of pages20
ISBN (Print)9780080445649
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2006

Publication series

NameHandbooks of Management Accounting Research
PublisherElsevier Science
Volume1
ISSN (Print)1751-3243

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