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

34 Pages Posted: 12 Oct 2005

See all articles by Thomas Ahrens

Thomas Ahrens

United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) - Accounting

Christopher S. Chapman

University of Bristol

Date Written: 2005

Abstract

In this paper 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.

Keywords: Management Accounting, Methodology, Method, Qualitative Field Studies, Theory, Validity

JEL Classification: M40, M46

Suggested Citation

Ahrens, Thomas and Chapman, Christopher S., Doing Qualitative Field Research in Management Accounting: Positioning Data to Contribute to Theory (2005). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=816985 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.816985

Thomas Ahrens

United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) - Accounting ( email )

Christopher S. Chapman (Contact Author)

University of Bristol ( email )

University of Bristol,
Senate House, Tyndall Avenue
Bristol, BS8 ITH
United Kingdom

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