Inducing structural change in academic accounting research

Wilkinson, Brett R., and Durden, Chris H. (2015) Inducing structural change in academic accounting research. Critical Perspectives on Accounting, 26. pp. 23-36.

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Researchers have expressed concerns about the stagnation of accounting research over an extended period of time, especially in the U.S. context. The literature provides extensive documentation of the problem and many suggestions for change; nonetheless, little change has ensued. In this paper, we draw on the sociology literature to provide a theoretical basis for a programme of structural change. We suggest that there is little merit in researchers seeking to effect incremental change because the current structures are so deep and those with the power to effect change are well served in maintaining these structures. The lesson from the sociology literature, and an application of this literature to accounting research, is that successful structural change almost certainly requires a significant resource shift. It is this resource shift that allows new schema (the underlying beliefs and assumptions) to emerge. There is evidence that such resource shifts precipitated the development of the current structure that shapes accounting research and it is unlikely that significant structural change can be achieved without a similar resource realignment. We call on accounting researchers to shift their attention away from documenting the problem and towards applying pressure to policy-makers to take action.

Item ID: 38079
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1095-9955
Keywords: accounting research, institutional change, duality of structure, public interest
Date Deposited: 28 Apr 2015 22:10
FoR Codes: 15 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 1501 Accounting, Auditing and Accountability > 150102 Auditing and Accountability @ 100%
SEO Codes: 91 ECONOMIC FRAMEWORK > 9104 Management and Productivity > 910499 Management and Productivity not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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