On the Elusive Nature of Critical (Accounting) Research
21 Pages Posted: 13 Feb 2018
Date Written: February 8, 2018
This essay addresses a deceptively simple question, namely, what is critical (accounting) research? Reflecting on key experiences that led me to be increasingly involved in the critical paradigm of accounting research, I present some of the main sources of influence that retrospectively played a significant role in articulating my (evolving) sense of “what critical research is”. In particular, I elaborate a “conceptual compass”, made up of several tentative referents, in order to help doctoral students and others develop their own understanding of the critical accounting research project’s (evolving) identity. Despite its fuzziness, my sense of the critical accounting research project is that it is primarily focused on developing a better understanding of marginalization processes – as a basis to engage in social intervention and praxis. The ontological foundations of this project reflect a mix of social constructionist and performativity approaches. Methodological openness characterizes the project although a significant degree of intolerance vis-à-vis discourses, ideas and methods that sustain the interests of marginalizing parties is noticeable.
Keywords: critical accounting research, critical paradigm, epistemology, marginalization, research boundaries
JEL Classification: M4, M40, M41, M42
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation