Doing Good Field Research: Assessing the Quality of Audit Field Research

68 Pages Posted: 7 Mar 2015

See all articles by Bertrand Malsch

Bertrand Malsch

Queen's University - School of Business

Steven Salterio

Queen's University - Smith School of Business

Date Written: March 1, 2015

Abstract

Field research is increasingly being employed by audit researchers around the world including in North America. However, given that many doctoral programs, especially in North America, devote little or no time to this method, understanding what constitutes good auditing field research is problematic for many editors and reviewers. Hence, the goal of this article is simple: to provide editors and reviewers with a set of guidelines that can be employed to assess the quality of auditing field research as field research, not as an experiment or an archival study. In addition, this article might be helpful to those audit researchers who are teaching themselves field research methods to calibrate their understanding of rigorous and trustworthy field based research methods as well as for doctoral students and accounting departments interested in expanding their scope of course offerings. To achieve this goal we pose and answer ten questions about field research quality illustrating our responses with best practices observed in currently published or forthcoming papers. We also identify various methodological resources that will assist editors, reviewers and authors in developing a greater appreciation for and an ability to evaluate auditing research based on this method.

Keywords: Accounting Research, Auditing research, Corporate Governance, Field research, Field study, Case study, Interpretivism, Positivism, Qualitative methods and methodology

JEL Classification: M4

Suggested Citation

Malsch, Bertrand and Salterio, Steven E., Doing Good Field Research: Assessing the Quality of Audit Field Research (March 1, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2574420 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2574420

Bertrand Malsch

Queen's University - School of Business ( email )

Smith School of Business - Queen's University
143 Union Street
Kingston, Ontario K7L 3N6
Canada
613-533-3246 (Phone)

Steven E. Salterio (Contact Author)

Queen's University - Smith School of Business ( email )

Kingston, Ontario K7L 3N6
Canada
613-5336926 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://web.business.queensu.ca/faculty/ssalterio/

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