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Social theorisation of accounting: Challenges to positive research

Hopper, T and Ashraf, J and Uddin, S and Wickramasinghe, D (2015) 'Social theorisation of accounting: Challenges to positive research.' In: UNSPECIFIED, (ed.) The Routledge Companion to Financial Accounting Theory. UNSPECIFIED, 452 - 471. ISBN 9780415660280

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Trying to delineate the relevance of social theory (broadly defined as an attempt to explain and predict behaviour under certain circumstances) to accounting often provoke responses of despair. A common reaction is to state that accounting has no theory. This has foundation. Apart from those who argue that double entry book-keeping is a theory in itself (a view not shared by the authors, who see it as an equation), accounting lacks a unique theoretical basis. It is often taught and practised as techniques and systems created through trial and error and the experience and pragmatism of practitioners. However, techniques implicitly rest on theory, be it of causes and effects or an understanding of what clients want or need. Given the absence of a distinct accounting theory, one must turn to other social science disciplines to make sense of practices (Hopper and Powell, 1985; Sutton and Staw, 1995).

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5601 Accounting
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Essex Business School
Faculty of Social Sciences > Essex Business School > Essex Accounting Centre
Depositing User: Users 161 not found.
Date Deposited: 11 Nov 2014 13:10
Last Modified: 30 Mar 2021 18:15

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