Musings on Accounting Research by Steve

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The last post on the link between macroeconomics underpinnings and accounting research

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So why do these views support my argument for paradigm diversity?

Simple – if you do not get challenged on your fundamental assumptions that you bring to your research you lose the opportunity to see if your theoretical tools and interpretations can withstand alternative views.

After all, a group of monetarists may delve into the models and data sources that a fellow researcher has taken and hence be strong quality control for the workmanship of the evidence produced! But they will not be very likely to examine whether there are alternative interpretations of the evidence that make fit the findings better!

Why not? Functional fixation. They know what they know but they cannot know about the unknowns that do not fit into their theoretical world. Unknowns that could well lead to a richer interpretation of the evidence.

Without challenge their interpretation of their research is substantially less rich!

Yet I still see accounting programs devoted to single paradigms on the basis that it provides a congenial research environment! Really!!! Is that the criteria for doing good research – to be nice!!!! If that is what you want – a nice genial work environment – may I suggest a liberal arts university with a nice business school. Critical reflection is vital for an inquiring mind and respectful paradigm diversity causes such reflection to naturally occur!

Okay, onto another hobby horse next week!


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