African Journal of Business Management Vol. 6(1), pp. 1-6,11 January, 2012
Available online at http://www.academicjournals.org/AJBM
ISSN 1993-8233 ©2012 Academic Journals
Interpretive and critical research: Methodological
School of Accountancy, University of the Witwatersrand, 1 Jan Smuts Avenue, Braamfontein, Johannesburg, South
Africa. E-mail: Warren.email@example.com. Tel: +27(0) 11 717 8227. Fax: 086 211 8078.
Accepted 1 September, 2011
Critical and interpretive research styles are often qualitative and more subjective than statistically-
based positive techniques. As such, critical and interpretive methodologies are less highly regarded by
the academic establishment and are often relegated to the footnotes of postgraduate courses. After all,
is there really a need to train prospective accountants and managements in ‘softer skills’? This critical
essay argues that changes in accounting and business mindsets are moving critical and interpretive
research styles into an era of greater recognition. Rather than be driven by positive tradition,
management-based research needs to be more aware of practical realties and post graduate students
need to be trained accordingly.
Key words: Accounting research, interpretive research, mainstream, methodologies, post graduate students,
This study is introduced as a somewhat critical
assessment of the methodological approaches that have
been applied in certain of the prior accounting literature.
In doing so, the study ignores the warnings of Creswell
(2009) and Ahrens et al. (2008) who caution that such
may immediately conjure images of a project corrupted
by a lack of validity and devoid of a mathematically
In the spirit of transparency (IRC, 2011; Solomon,
2010; King III, 2009), no effort is made to conceal the
tone of the paper or the stance that it intends to take. The
established approach is departed from. The study does
not commence by presenting a theory supported by a
detailed literature review and copious statistical analyses
with the aim of advancing a ‘well founded’ conclusion.
Rather, the objective is to make the author’s point quite
clear from the outset and leave it to the readers to reach
their own informed opinions.
As for the author’s opinion, it is quite simply that there
is nothing wrong with an interpretive or critical approach
to accounting research and that, in fact, this approach
may be conceptually superior to the long-revered quanti-
tative styles. There is nothing wrong with subjectivity, with
mixed methodologies, with the absence of complicated
statistics in a research paper, and with expressing one’s
own opinion. (And to stress sincerity, the study has
deliberately used a more personal tone and this sentence
has been purposefully started with ‘AND’!)
It is appreciated that this view may smack of ‘heresy’. It
flies in the face of the quantitative-positivist- quasi-
religious-dogma of the academic establishment,
especially in the hallowed halls of the American Ivy
League Universities. This should not, however, be
allowed to prevent the sharing of ideas, even if they are
initially seen as controversial.
Naturally, since the commentary to follow is critical, the
reader is provided with a brief context of this short essay
for the purpose of aiding their decision making (IRC,
2011; Solomon, 2010; King III, 2009). The author does
not profess to be an experienced academic. In fact, in
keeping with the commitment to transparency and, in
accordance with the European Commission’s guidelines,
it should be noted that the author is a young researcher .
But he is a recently qualified professional accountant with
a few years of practical auditing and accounting
experience behind him.
With that said, it is not the intention of this piece to
provide a methodological or philosophical critique of
positive accounting research. That has already been
done (Reiter and Williams, 2002; Williams, 1995, 1987;
Chua, 1986a, b; Ball and Foster, 1982; Hunt and Hogler,
1990). Rather, this short essay tentatively explores the
2 Afr. J. Bus. Manage.
shortcomings of post graduate courses that continue to
be dominated by a positive research style, in spite of the
changes in business and governance mindsets over the
last twenty years.
WHAT IS CRITICAL AND INTERPRETIVE
Given that this piece is written for both the academic and
professional accounting community, it is necessary to
provide a brief description of ‘critical’ and ‘interpretive’
research. These are not part of the professional accoun-
tants’ and auditors’ jargon and if one is really interested in
making an impact on the profession, it is appropriate to at
least provide a simple definition of these terms.
Put simply, positive research strives for an objective,
clinical means of studying the subject matter. It tends to
be dominated by quantitative techniques, using statistical
analysis of data to study the underlying ‘at a distance’.
This allows for objectivity while ensuring external validity
as the experiment can theoretically be re-performed with
similar results (Creswell, 2009; Davila and Oyon, 2008;
Ahrens and Chapman, 2006; Inanga and Schneider,
2005; Quattrone and Hopper, 2005).
On the other hand, interpretive and critical research
styles tend to be more qualitative. As such, there is a
higher degree of subjectivity. The methodology recog-
nises the fact that there are important social and cultural
variables that impact on the subject matter and that these
interconnections cannot be ignored. Validity is driven, not
by a clinical approach to the study, but by a methodology
based on documenting the findings in detail to provide a
thorough account. Generalisation of the findings to a
population; extrapolation of results; and reproduction of
controlled experiments are not objectives of the so-called
‘alternative approach’ (Creswell, 2009; Ahrens et al.,
2008; Davila and Oyon, 2008; Parker, 2008; Ahrens and
Chapman, 2006; Inanga and Schneider, 2005; Oakes et
al., 1998; Paker and Roffey, 1997).
The earlier definitions are relatively simple and are not
expected to give a detailed description of the underlying
nature of each of the research paradigms, a project which
is itself worthy of additional research (Ahrens et al.,
2008). They do, however, provide a context for this
paper. More often than not, interpretive and critical
research is relegated to the category of ‘alternative’ as
the academic establishment sees these methodologies
as conceptually weaker than the traditional quantitative/
positive approach, and therefore worthy of only an ancil-
lary role in post graduate programs (Ahrens et al., 2008;
Cooper, 2008; Dillard, 2008; Merchant, 2008 Parker,
This commentary seeks to highlight a different
perspective: that ‘alternative’ approach, by focusing on
issues aligned with practical realities of the accounting
profession has far greater purpose than just supporting
mainstream accounting research. Accordingly, the focus
of post graduate courses may need to be carefully
reconsidered. This sentiment is summarized by Inanga
and Schneider (2005):
‘Research in accounting should aim at improving
accounting practice in the same way as the goal of
medical research is to improve medical practice. The
many breakthroughs today in medical practice would
have been impossible without medical research. In medi-
cine, there is a symbiotic relationship among medical
research, medical education, and medical practice. The
picture is different in accounting. The relationship is
disjointed, with wide gaps between accounting education,
accounting research, and accounting practice’ (Inanga
and Schneider, 2005: 239).
WHY DO ACADEMICS RESEARCH AND TEACH
STUDENTS TO RESEARCH?
Research needs to be driven by relevance for
organizations and society (Ahrens et al., 2008; Davilia
and Oyon, 2008; Dillard, 2008; Harmon, 2006) yet the
primary stance taken by the positivist outlook is that
research is a means to promotion and the self-fulfilling
achievement of commanding respect in academic circles.
For this reason, the research process becomes inwardly
focused (Ahrens et al., 2008; Davilia and Oyon, 2008;
Dillard, 2008; Merchant, 2008; Inanga and Schneider,
2005; Harmon, 2006).
To be truly significant, however, research needs to be
of relevance to the profession that it is rooted in; to be
aligned with the principles of sustainability; and, to adopt
a two-way means of communication. This implies the use
of varied approaches to accounting research and
approaches that have a strong practical focus (consider:
King III, 2009; Davilia and Oyon, 2008; Scapens, 2008;
Harmon, 2006; Reiter and Williams, 2002).
Despite this fact, many journals remain dominated by
‘calculative’ methodologies far removed from daily
business practice. While the journals may not explicitly
exclude qualitative research, although some do, their
mission and world-outlook make it almost impossible to
have qualitative research published (Davilia and Oyon,
2008; Reiter and Williams, 2002: 579).
This bias in favour of quantitative, or positive, research
seems misplaced given one of the inherent limitations of
the methodology. Accounting and management systems
are vastly more complex than the quasi scientific models,
based on bounded rationality, gave them credit for
(Carrington, 2010; Ahrens et al., 2008; Marnet, 2007;
McMillan, 2004). Formal, rigid quantitative models of
enquiry are not well suited to explore a complex factual
and social matrix (Ahrens et al., 2008: 842; Parker, 2008;
Ahrens and Chapman, 2006; Oakes et al., 1998). What
interpretive research can contribute is the means of
illuminating ‘the specific ways in which designers and
users of accounting systems work with their constructive
potential in the pursuit of specific agendas, and how their
systems (and agendas) change in the process’ (Parker
and Roffey, 1997: 215).
In other words, interpretive research offers the potential
to interact with the practical implications of accounting
and management systems rather than become
preoccupied with underlying economic theories (Creswell,
2009; Ahrens et al., 2008; Parker and Roffey, 1997: 215).
Ahrens and Chapman (2006), Parker and Roffey (1996)
and Chua (1986a,b) ask if accounting research is not
stifled by the infatuation of some research methodologies
with overly scientific approaches far removed from
practical reality. On the other hand, the ‘alternative’
approach affords the opportunity to engage with practi-
tioners. Complementing this is an ability to address those
aspects of a phenomenon that quantitative research is
unable to explore (Cooper, 2008; Davilia and Oyon,
2008; Parker, 2008).
This has important implications for the focus of post
graduate courses. Students should not be encouraged to
undertake particular avenues of research because they
conform to the preconceived notion of quantitative
analysis, yielding good quality output. By the same token,
students’ research efforts should not be aimed at those
phenomena underpinned by recognized theories and a
plethora of prior literature (Ahrens et al., 2008; Parker
and Roffey, 1997; Chua, 1986a, b). While underlying
theories and prior scholarly work are important for the
context of any study, they should have a complementary
function (Creswell, 2009; Reiter and Williams, 2002).
The focus should be on addressing practical
considerations and the difficulties of the profession that
prospective accountants will face. This aim needs to be
stressed in post graduate courses, even if it means a
departure from the positive status quo.
In seeking to align research aims with the needs of the
profession, there are also important implications
concerning the structure and tone of research papers that
post graduate students are expected to adopt.
Traditionally, students have been told that a formal
context is paramount (Creswell, 2009). The clinical and
unemotive style reinforces the objectivity of the research
effort and hence the validity of the findings. For a
quantitative paper, this style of writing enhances the
perceived robustness of a piece underpinned by often
complex statistical analysis.
Recommendations for formal, refined, statistics-ridden
articles are, however, provided out of professional
context. The International Accounting Standards Board,
for example, has reiterated the need for financial reports
to be understandable for a range of users, not only the
experts in International Financial Reporting Standards.
Similarly, recommended best governance practices
across the globe are calling for clear, understandable and
transparent reporting (IRC, 2011; Solomon, 2010; King
III, 2009; Brennan and Solomon, 2008).
The academic establishment, particularly in American
business schools, is, however, encouraging the opposite.
To reinforce the validity of positive research efforts,
students are taught that there must be complex statistical
models and ‘big’ words; as complex and as ‘big’ as
possible. This has very little to do with communicating
clearly with the profession. Indeed, this does not seem to
be an aim of the positive research machinery. As
discussed earlier, the aim is academic promotion and
positions of reverence within the establishment.
Communicating with the profession has been replaced by
intellectual-self-serving. The result is that there is no
incentive to depart from this inward-orientated modus
operandi by realigning the focus of formal post graduate
courses with practical and technical accounting and
What is needed is an awareness of readers and
students, not only the editors of journals. For accounting
research to be sustainable, it needs to tackle the issues
faced by practitioners in a simple, easy to understand
fashion that makes it immediately accessible outside of
academic circles (Ahrens et al.,2008; Baxter et al, 2008;
Davilia and Oyon, 2008; Scapens, 2008; Harmon, 2006).
Yet in spite of this, the focus of many post graduate
courses seems to remain on largely quantitative research
output that does little for the professional development of
the post graduate student (Scapens, 2008; Harmon,
2006; Reiter and Williams, 2002).
Ultimately, research should not be an exercise in
demonstrating how intelligent the author of an article is.
Rather, it should focus on expanding and sharing know-
ledge for the greater benefit of the profession (Inanga
and Schneider, 2005).
The positivists will be quick to point out that not all
interpretive accounting research makes such relevant
contributions (Merchant, 2008). Accordingly, we should
not be too hasty to expose students to the critical and
interpretive research style. What the positivists do not,
however, address is whether a statistics-riddled article
professing in the most complex language that there is
some correlation between stock prices and ocean tides
can be understood by the Accounting profession. By
‘profession’, the author implies more than just the acade-
mics who write these types of articles. Instead, the term
refers to the everyday accountants who lack the time to
spend several hours deciphering overly complicated
At this point, proponents of a calculative methodology
would note that interpretive research is often qualitative
and results in long, complex descriptions of a subject
matter, equally inconsistent with the busy lives of
practising accountants. Many qualitative articles are also
criticised for being difficult to read because of their
structures and terminology (Merchant, 2008). In this
context, relevance by way of simplification is argued as
strength of quantitative research (Creswell, 2009;
Merchant, 2008; Parker and Roffey, 1997). In many
respects, this assessment is correct. Often quantitative
styles are able to reduce the subject matter of a study to
4 Afr. J. Bus. Manage.
easily measurable variables, yielding more focused
reports. Laws that state that qualitative research has to
be cumbersome and that interpretive research cannot
employ a mixed methodology approach are, however,
hard to find.
Interpretive research may be able to explore a
phenomenon from a different angle to that used by a
quantitative researcher. Contrary to preconceived notions
of the latter, the qualitative researcher can be trained to
write clearly and simply, and to use appropriate
quantitative techniques to support an argument as
needed. There is no reason for interpretive research to
lack clarity and to fail to make a meaningful contribution.
This means that there is no reason for critical and
interpretive research styles to be relegated to footnotes in
post graduate courses. Contrary to some beliefs, these
methodologies are relevant and thus potentially important
for post graduate students.
Relevance becomes more than testing theories
objectively, extrapolating results and attempting to make
predictions, ensuring that all of this is couched in a
sufficiently pompous register. It is also a function of the
practicality, transparency and clarity of the research. For
this reason, while not all interpretive research makes
valuable contributions; the same can be said for
Excessive focus on this style of methodology is, there-
fore, not as critical as we initially believed. The emphasis
for post graduate students should, therefore, be on a
practical awareness focused on improving the profession.
Producing research papers that rely exclusively on
positive paradigms may not always be appropriate for
exploring the complexity of practical issues faced by the
profession, and then communicating findings to accoun-
tants on the front line. What many formal postgraduate
courses seem to overlook is that research relevance is
critical for both academics and their students (Ahrens et
al., 2008; Parker and Roffey, 1997). Most importantly,
irrespective of for whom we write, ‘…relevance should
not become prescribed by a set of standardized quality
criteria used in positivist accounting research or by
American business schools’ (Ahrens et al., 2008).
THE SKILLS NEEDED FOR INTERPRETIVE AND
Methodological ‘tones’ set by journals’ and business
schools’ bias in favour of quantitative research
(Merchant, 2008) has further implications for the manner
in which post graduate accounting students are trained.
With an obsession for statistical analysis to ensure
objectivity and external validity, students are indoc-
trinated into believing that qualitative approaches are
substandard. This is in spite of the fact that so-called
alternative research has gained considerable recognition
in numerous non-accounting fields (Ahrens et al., 2008;
Baxter, 2008; Parker and Roffey, 1997). Nevertheless,
interpretive and, worse still, critical styles of research are
relegated to the footnotes of course material (Creswell,
2009; Baxter et al., 2008; Davilia and Oyon, 2008). After
all, if post graduate work is about academic writing which
is aimed at publications targeted at the positivist esta-
blishment, why bother with ‘soft’ or ‘alternative’ analytical
Yet this approach is again in direct contrast with the
practical realities. For example, traditional organizational
management taught that the objective of the firm was the
maximization of profits for shareholders. More recently,
however, firms have been called upon to move away
from preoccupation with generating wealth for share-
holder and focus on customer value and relationship
management. Firms are expected to be curious about
their customers’ needs, preconceptions and aspirations
as part of an all-inclusive approach to wealth creation
(Denning, 2011; Botten, 2009; Drury, 2005). This has
gone hand in hand with moving away from excessive
reliance on the restrictive management control systems
of the old factory-based workplace to those that capitalize
on clan and cultural values, foster innovation and
enhance knowledge management (Denning, 2011;
Botten, 2009; Drury, 2005; Roberts, 2001).
Realignment of conceptions of value and management
control come at a time when the governance of firms has
also come under increasing scrutiny. Developments in
corporate governance require an all-inclusive approach
that takes into account the needs of multiple stakeholder
groups. The governance of risk is no longer about
placating financial analysts and focusing only on those
elements of the business that can be easily measured.
Firms are expected to manage their impact on the envi-
ronment and society and actively strive for sustainable
business practice (IRC, 2011; Solomon, 2010; King III,
2009; PwC, 2009a, b).
Put simply, accounting is very much part of the Social
Sciences (Creswell, 2009; Ahrens et al., 2008; Reiter and
Williams, 2002). It is not totally described by Economics
and is certainly not something which can be dissected
and studied in a laboratory (Inanga and Schneider,
2005). Why then are we training postgraduate students in
the skills of the positivist? The methodology assumes that
objectivity can be achieved by statistical analysis of a
phenomenon at a distance, often ignoring the interplay
with social and cultural variables (Aahrens, 2008; Davilia
and Oyon, 2008). Current postgraduate training, there-
fore, has two immediate shortcomings: Firstly, despite the
complexity of the statistical models employed in the latest
positive research publications, the problem of practical
sterility remains (Parker and Roffey, 1997). The metho-
dology does little to speak to the all-inclusive approach to
governance and accounting that is slowly moving away
from reliance on easily quantified measures; it does little
to stimulate a curiosity and creativity.
Juxtapose this with the call for progressive governance
and management that strives for new, innovative ways of
dealing with complex financial and social problems
(Denning, 2011; IRC, 2011; Solomon, 2010; Brennan and
Solomon, 2008; Mouritsen 1999). Rather than emphasize
transformative research that is unafraid of critical
assessment of the status quo (Ahrens et al., 2008; Reiter
and Williams, 2002), positive research encourages the
opposite in the name of validity and objectivity.
Secondly, there is an increased awareness of the impor-
tance of the manner in which companies do business and
not just the outcomes (IRC, 2011; Solomon, 2010; King
III, 2009; PwC, 2009a). In reducing organizations to
statistical measures, positive research has a tendency to
become outcome-focused, often shying away from
exploring complex human interactions and intangible
processes (Aahrens, 2008; Davilia and Oyon, 2008;
Parker and Roffey, 1997). Accordingly, there seems to
be a conflict between the essence of positive research
courses and practical accounting and governance
concerns that are becoming increasingly focused on
more than just measurable outputs.
With alternative research, the intention is to help
understand the complex interconnections between the
theories and the underlying human element that
positivists named homo-economicus so that it can have
supply-and-demand curves attached to it in the name of
statistical model building (Ahrens et al., 2008; Davilia and
Oyon, 2008; Willmott, 2008). More importantly, the
elucidation process at the heart of interpretive research
often requires direct interaction with professional
accountants and following leads found only in the field,
quite foreign to the positive approach of studying
phenomena at a distance under the lense of established
theories (Scapens, 2008; Harmon, 2006; Oakes et al.,
1998; Parker and Roffey, 1997). A failure to expose
postgraduate students to the practical aspects of
interpretive and critical research styles that actively seek
to explore these relationships possibly results in a skills
mismatch: students are well equipped to deal with
statistical modeling but find Accountancy and Corporate
Governance at the practical level to be foreign.
Superficially, interpretive and critical research seems
lacking due to the absence of its own models and elegant
theories. Practically, however, these very theories,
heralded as validity-enhancing by positive researchers,
may prove frustrating as problems become limited to
what can be measured (Ahrens et al., 2008). In contrast,
interpretive and critical research may have a more
dominant role to play in a business setting characterised
by increased awareness of multiple stakeholder need
In a business world characterised by high levels of
change (IRC, 2011; Solomon, 2010), interpretive
research able to deal with the ‘how?’ and ‘why?’ ques-
tions can be value-adding (Ahrens et al., 2008; Parker
and Roffey, 1997). In such a context, the ability to
describe, understand and fully explore a phenomenon
using qualitative techniques that take cognisance of
social, cultural and environmental issues not readily
reduced to statistical measurement may prove an
indispensible skill set.
Interpretive and critical research methods are often
described as ‘alternative’ styles. They are generally syno-
nymous with qualitative techniques and, using statistical
analysis in only a secondary role, if at all, are often
criticised for a lack of quality (Ahrens et al., 2008; Baxter
et al., 2008; Davilia and Oyon, 2008; Merchant, 2008;
‘Alternative’ methodologies may, however, be moving
into an era of greater recognition. Quattrone and Hopper
(2005), Mouritsen (1999) and Oakes et al. (1998) are
among the numerous examples in the existing academic
literature making use of a more interpretive or critical
style of writing. This may be a reflection of the fact that
qualitative techniques, synonymous with these styles,
offer a potential to explore aspects of a phenomenon that
positive methodologies are not suited to. The rich
description-generating ability of ‘alternative’ methodolo-
gies allows for social and cultural issues to be explored in
more detail, effectively shedding light on what would
otherwise be a ‘black box’ of the accounting system
(Ahrens et al., 2008; Baxter et al., 2008; Davilia and
Oyon, 2008; Parker, 2008).
In doing so, this methodological approach has the
ability to address the information needs of the accounting
profession. This is not to say that the pursuit of theore-
tical knowledge is not important. Scapens (2008) and
Inanga and Schneider (2005) point out that balance is
required. Academics are able to generate theoretical
knowledge because of their unique context and should
not be too quick to become consultants. This creates the
risk of a loss of theory development and innovation. By
the same token, however, for academic pursuits,
including post graduate courses, to make a difference,
some level of interaction with the profession is needed.
Interpretive accounting research has the potential to offer
such a balance (Ahrens et al., 2008; Baxter et al., 2008;
Parker; 2008; Scapens, 2008).
Rather than be driven by the academic tradition of
positive accounting research, post graduate students
should be encouraged to interact with the profession and
address its information needs, even if this means using
more progressive research techniques. This requires a
change in the tone and style of writing. Students should
be encouraged to dispense with formal, pompous, styles
that are often far removed from the jargon of daily
professional life and rather write with sincerity, simplicity
Ultimately, relevance should be defined by the research
6 Afr. J. Bus. Manage.
output of post graduate courses that can be commu-
nicated efficiently and effectively in both academic circles
and the profession. It should be characterised by a
multiplicity of styles that are reflective of the ever complex
business environment. Relevance should not be dictated
by the dogma of quantitative research set in a previous
century by the academic establishment, particularly in Ivy
League Business Schools.
Ahrens T, Chapman CS (2006). Doing qualitative field research in
management accounting: Positioning data to contribute to theory.
Account. Organ. Soc., 31(8): 819-841.
Ahrens T, Becker A, Burns J, Chapman CS, Granlund M, Habersam M,
Hansen A, Khalifa R, Malmi T, Mennicken A, Mikes A, Panozzo F,
Piber M, Quattrone P, Scheytt T (2008). The future of interpretive
accounting research—A polyphonic debate. Crit. Perspect. Account.,
Baxter J, Boedker C, Chua WF (2008). The future(s) of interpretive
accounting research—A polyphonic response from beyond the
metropolis. Crit. Perspect. Account., 19: 880-886.
Brennan N, Solomon J (2008). Corporate governance, accountability
and mechanisms of accountability: an overview. Account. Auditing
and Account. J., 21: 859-906.
Botten N (2009). Management Accounting Business Strategy. CIMA
Publishing, Oxford, United Kingdom.
Carrington T (2010). An analysis of the demands on a sufficient audit:
Professional appearance is what counts! Crit. Perspect. Account., 21:
Chua WF (1986a).Theoretical constructions of and by the real. Account.
Organ. Soc., 11(6): 583-598.
Chua W F (1986b). Radical developments in accounting thought.
Account. Rev., 16(4): 601-632.
Cooper DJ (2008). Editorial: Is there a future for interpretive accounting
research?. Crit. Perspect. Account., 19: 837-839.
Creswell JW (2009). Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and
Mixed Methods Approaches. Sage Publications, London, United
Kingdom, Third Edition.
Davila T, Oyon D (2008). Cross-paradigm collaboration and the
advancement of management accounting knowledge. Crit. Perspect.
Account., 19: 897-893
Denning S (2011). The R einvention of Management. Strateg.
Leadersh., 39(2): 9-17.
Dillard J (2008). A political base of a polyphonic debate. Crit. Perspect.
Account., 19: 894-900.
Drury C (2008). Management and C ost Accounting. Thomson Learning,
London, United Kingdom, 6th Edition.
Harmon MM (2006). Business research and Chinese patriotic poetry:
how competition for status distorts the priority between research and
teaching in U.S. business schools. Acad. Manage. Learn. Educ., 2(2):
Inanga EL, Schneider WB (2005). The failure of accounting r esearch to
improve accounting practic e: a problem of theory and lack of
communication. Crit. Perspect. Account., 16: 227-248.
Integrated Reporting Committee of South Africa (IRC) (2011).
Framework for Integrated Reporting and the Integrated Report.
Accessed on 1 March, accessed at <
King III (2009). The King Code of Governance for South Africa (2009)
and King Report on Governance for South Africa. Lexis Nexus,
Johannesburg, South Afric a.
Marnet O (2007). History repeats itself: The failure of rationale choice
models in corporate governance. Crit. Perspect. Account., 17: 191-
McMillan KP (2004). Trust and the virtues: a solution to the accounting
scandals? Crit. Perspect. Account., 15: 943-953.
Merchant KA (2008). Why interdisciplinary accounting research tends
not to impact most North American academic accountants. Crit.
Perspect. Account., 19: 901-908.
Mouritsen J (1999). The flexible firm: strategies f or a subcontractor’s
management control. Account. Organ. Soc., 24(1): 31–55.
Oakes LS, Townley B, Cooper DJ (1998).Business planning as
pedagogy: language and control in a changing institutional field. Adm.
Sci. Q., 43(2): 257- 293.
Parker LD (2008). Interpreting interpretive accounting research. Crit.
Perspect. Account., 19: 909-914.
Parker LD, Roffey BH (1997). Methodological Themes. Back to the
drawing board: revisiting grounded theory and the everyday
accountant’s and manager’s reality. Account. Auditing and Account.
J., 10(2): 212-247.
Price W aterhouse Coopers (PwC) (2009a). Kings Counsel. Accessed
on 6 October 2010, accessed at <
Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC) (2009b). Steering Point: K ing III.
Accessed on 6 October 2010, accessed at <
Quattrone P, Hopper T (2005). A “time-space odyssey”: management
control systems in two multinational organizations. Account. Organ.
Soc., 30(7/8): 735–64.
Reiter SA, W illiams PF (2002). The structure and progressivity of
accounting research: the crisis in the academy revisited. Account.
Organ. Soc., 27(1): 575-607.
Scapens JW (2008). Seeking the relevance of interpretive research: A
contribution to the polyphonic debate. Crit. Perspect. Account., 19:
Solomon J (2010). Corporate Governance and Accountability. John
Wiley and Sons Ltd, W est Sussex, United Kingdom, Third Edition.
Willmott H (2008). Listening, interpreting, commending: A commentary
on the future of interpretive accounting research. Crit. Perspect.
Account., 19: 920-925.