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Accounting as a dichotomised discipline : an analysis of the source materials used in the construction of accounting articles.

Hussain, S. and Yan, L. and Liu, J. and Miller, A.D. (2020) 'Accounting as a dichotomised discipline : an analysis of the source materials used in the construction of accounting articles.', Critical perspectives on accounting., 66 . p. 102086.


Academic research in accounting has often been characterised as exhibiting a dichotomy between the positivist approach and the critical, interpretive and interdisciplinary (CII) approaches. Our paper examines the extent of this dichotomy by presenting empirical evidence on the different source materials which the two communities use to construct their research papers. Across all articles published in six leading journals between 2002 and 2013, we find that positivist papers tend to be constructed from a narrower set of references drawn mostly from elite business journals while CII papers draw from a much more diverse range of sources, including non-elite journals, non-business journals and books. There is also evidence of the growing impact of journal ranking lists, with notable upward (downward) trends in the usage of high-ranked (unranked) reference sources. We suggest a link here with recent research on signalling within the publication process.

Item Type:Article
Full text:Publisher-imposed embargo until 01 December 2020.
(AM) Accepted Manuscript
Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.
File format - PDF
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Publisher statement:© 2019 This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license
Record Created:03 May 2019 16:13
Last Modified:29 Jan 2020 15:05

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