Research in Managerial Accounting: Learning from Others' Experiences

Posted: 11 Oct 1999

See all articles by Margaret A. Abernethy

Margaret A. Abernethy

University of Melbourne, Department of Accounting

Wai Fong Chua

UNSW Australia Business School, School of Accounting

Peter F. Luckett

UNSW Australia Business School, School of Accounting

Frank H. Selto

University of Colorado, Boulder

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to identify the strengths and weaknesses of three research methods employed in managerial accounting: experimental, survey and field research. We do this by drawing on the three papers published in this issue of the Journal. These three papers provide the reader with a 'behind the scenes' expose on the problems, choices and decisions confronted by the researcher during the method phase of the empirical study. The complexities associated with method are rarely reported in published papers nor is there any explanation of why effort is devoted to particular methodological issues. It is, however, important for the novice researcher to recognise these choices and problems, both when selecting a particular method, and in designing a study. We attempt to critique these papers in terms of choice of method and also the extent to which each of the studies satisfies the three maxims' of scientific method, namely, construct validity, internal validity and external validity. Our review demonstrates the trade-offs that are necessarily made when designing a research study. There are, however, ways in which the effects of these trade-offs can be minimised and we provide guidance as to how the study design might be improved to achieve this.

JEL Classification: C42, C80, C91, C93, M40, M46

Suggested Citation

Abernethy, Margaret A. and Chua, Wai Fong and Luckett, Peter F. and Selto, Frank H., Research in Managerial Accounting: Learning from Others' Experiences. Accounting and Finance, Vol 39, 1999. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=179576

Margaret A. Abernethy

University of Melbourne, Department of Accounting ( email )

Victoria
Melbourne, Victoria 3010 3010
Australia
+61 3 8344 7655 (Phone)
+61 3 9349 2397 (Fax)

Wai Fong Chua (Contact Author)

UNSW Australia Business School, School of Accounting ( email )

Sydney, NSW 2052
Australia
+61 2 9385 5828 (Phone)
+61 2 9385 5925 (Fax)

Peter F. Luckett

UNSW Australia Business School, School of Accounting ( email )

Frank H. Selto

University of Colorado, Boulder ( email )

419 UCB
Boulder, CO 80309-0419
United States

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
2,571
PlumX Metrics