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dc.contributor.authorGray, R.
dc.contributor.authorMilne, M.J.
dc.identifier.citationGray , R & Milne , M J 2015 , ' It's not what you do, it's the way that you do it? Of method and madness ' Critical Perspectives on Accounting , vol. 32 , pp. 51-66 .
dc.identifier.otherPURE: 191319041
dc.identifier.otherPURE UUID: c1d831b9-80e3-4eb6-8fe3-19a74f7e47bf
dc.identifier.otherScopus: 84948092330
dc.identifier.otherWOS: 000366778200004
dc.description.abstractThis short essay takes the opportunity presented by the paper by Patten (in this issue)1 to enter the debate concerning the relative pros and cons of quantitative versus qualitative research methods. Too often, this is a sterile ‘debate’ and in accounting especially, the actual lack of real debate is destructive – manifest as it is in the pernicious attachment of key academic journals to a single (and largely unexamined) notion of what comprises good research and consequently what is permitted as knowledge. This restriction has additional unanticipated consequences in that it (a) refuses to acknowledge research findings that appear in journals other than those anointed by the high priests of self-styled positivism and (b) it severely limits the research questions that can be addressed to only those which can be perceived and addressed through a narrow array of method (Chua, 1986). We argue that such a position is untenable as well as undesirable and, following Feyerabend and Morgan (as well as Caldwell, McCloskey and Tashakkori & Teddlie), argue for pluralism in method choice grounded in a pragmatic philosophy driven firstly by a concern for the research problem, and an absence of a fact-value distinction. We suggest that such pluralism is especially important in an area concerned with social and environmental issues which, ultimately, are matters of life and death and more important than trivial matters of ‘which method is best’ (or perhaps – more accurately – which method is permitted in journal X).
dc.relation.ispartofCritical Perspectives on Accountingen
dc.rights(c) 2015 Elsevier Ltd. This is the author's version of this work. The published version is available from http://www.sciencedirect.comen
dc.subjectB Philosophy (General)en
dc.subjectH Social Sciences (General)en
dc.titleIt's not what you do, it's the way that you do it? Of method and madnessen
dc.typeJournal articleen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews.School of Managementen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews.St Andrews Sustainability Instituteen
dc.description.statusPeer revieweden

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