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Homogeneity or heterogeneity of research in management accounting?

  • Economics


Viewing Zimmerman (2001) as propagating for an economics-based monolithic paradigm to be adopted in management accounting research, we examine the nature and implications of such Kuhnian 'normal science'. Acknowledging that normal science can produce cumulative knowledge efficiently, we examine its risks as well. Similarly as with any normal science, that based on economics also inherently offers a narrow window to the world, and creates areas of 'non-discussables'. We illustrate how such a regime would limit our abilities to construct and examine interesting propositions and develop meaningful stories about management accounting in its social, organizational and behavioural contexts. Accepting the rule of a monolithic economics-based paradigm would limit our abilities to develop a critical stance, and threatens the ability of management accounting research community for good scientific conversation and progress. Hence, in contrast to Zimmerman, we argue for remaining open for heterogeneity in management accounting research.

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