Accounting for accounting: Towards the development of a dialectical view

Hopper, Trevor; Storey, John and Willmott, Hugh (1987). Accounting for accounting: Towards the development of a dialectical view. Accounting, Organizations and Society, 12(5) pp. 437–456.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/0361-3682(87)90030-4

Abstract

This paper questions the adequacy of current approaches to accounting research. Following a re-examination of the progress made by the interpretive perspective in correcting for many of the shortcomings in the traditional framework, a catalogue of unresolved problems and silences is constructed. It is argued that central to this is the persistent failure adequately to contextualize accounting whilst at the same time treating it as a fully social practice. The second part of the paper is accordingly devoted to the development and illustration of an alternative, fuller, perspective. This, it is claimed, contains the potential to allow a deeper understanding of the linkages between routinized practices and conflicts and the socio-economic contexts in which they are located.

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