Summary of the Article
Discuss about the Accounting Research Critique for Theory and Current Issue.
The main topic of the selected article is to examine the positive approach in accounting research. This critique is aimed to review conducted research objectively and to determine the strengths and weaknesses systematically. In this research critique, the application of positive research in the accounting field is the major argument. This critique includes arguments for the use of positive research in the accounting practice. This paper includes systematic analysis of arguments presented in the given article. In this paper, summary, research questions, theoretical framework, significance and limitations of the article are included and analyzed to critique the selected piece of research.
This article focuses on analyzing positive research in the accounting discipline. In this, researcher aimed to determine both significance and drawbacks of this theory by reviewing its broad academic projects along with the ontological and epistemological assumptions. Positive accounting is explained as research program that seeks to frame cause and effective relationship of human behavior in the field of accounting. In this, the recent accounting and auditing literature are selected to reveal major deficiencies of the processes and methods, which are used to perform positive accounting research in reality and their role in preventing the development of wider project accurately (Dunmore, 2011).
In this article, statistical method of hypotheses testing, theoretical models, analytical models, replication are some aspects of positive accounting research is analyzed to determine the deficiencies in the practice of positive accounting theory. The gap between real and expected performance of positive research in the accounting field is found. The author advocates the view of Kuhn for normal science in which the large number of problems is solved by adopting set of beliefs and practices. In accordance to the view of normal science, science is a kind of play in which defines certain rules to solve problems. If a researcher fails to follow rules then he/she would be excluded from the scientific community. But, the emergence of new thoughts makes the exiting paradigm ineffective, which will lead to the development of new paradigm (Dunmore, 2011). By examining the ontology and epistemology of positive research, underperformance of current accounting research practice is determined in terms of the existing requirement of accounting.
In this article, researcher formed four hypotheses to organize the investigation in terms of examining the practice positive research in the field of accounting. The first hypothesis of this research includes existence of world or events, which has independence nature and thus they are beyond the control of humans. The causes of events are also elements of such independent world. Careful observation of such events makes possible for people to understand the causes. But observations can be wrong if they are not made without making complete disconnection with the world (Dunmore, 2011). Intellectual enquiry means to use observations for understanding the causes of events through the use of mental models.
Research Questions or hypotheses
The given hypotheses of this research are quite valuable in terms of gaining insights regarding the thinking process behind an investigation or scientific enquiry. Through this, the process of making rationale enquiry of the world can be understood. This is quite effective for accessing the methods and ways of conducting positive research in the accounting field to determine the deficiencies in its implementation. The value of the hypotheses is flowed from the literature review of this article at the greater extent as it includes analysis of positive research examples in accounting and the application of scientific ontology and epistemology (Dunmore, 2011). By using theories and model, the hypotheses are systematically tested. In the literature review of this article, previous reseasarch are included and analyzed to make conceptual testing of hypotheses. The included literature is quite effective for investigating the process of intellectual enquiry and explaining the falsification of theory on the basis of observation (Weakliem, 2016). Statistical hypotheses testing’s logic in concern of quantitative positive accounting research is also accessed to test the hypotheses related to the rationale enquiry of research. After the analysis, a literature for explaining ways of conducting more insightful positive accounting research is included that makes the hypotheses more significant (Dunmore, 2011). Thus, the article is quite significant in terms of stating valuable hypotheses in concern of the accounting field. The literature of the research is also tested the developed hypotheses in the systematic manner.
The theoretical framework of this research is developed through the inclusion of different theoretical perspectives of previous researchers. Positive accounting theory (PAT) means to examine the real life examples to understand the behavior of accountants in a situation. The real world accounting transactions and events are analyzed to predict the way companies develop the accounting treatment for transactions. It is the main theory of this article over which major arguments is developed. The casual theory of human behavior is also employed in this article to indicate that behavior and personality is an outcome of experiences (Dennis, 2015). The experience causes learning and it is responsible for developing behavior and personality.
Falsifiability theory of Karl Popper is also main theoretical substance of this article. The criterion of falsifiability is employed by the researcher to indicate the ineffectiveness of induction in proving a theory. Falsifiability is the main criteria, which proves a scientific theory. In order to make a scientific theory, it is critical to include falsification criteria as such theories are more useful (Popper, 2014). On the basis of observations and knowledge, the development of scientific principles and theories is not possible as they can be result of external and internal influences. This theory indicates that biasness and personal experiences influences the experience and consequently theory. Science theory is one that can be calculated and tested.
The other theoretical substance of this article is Kuhn’s normal science theory in which assumptions, principles and methods for members of the paradigm are discussed. A shared paradigm is critical for the existence of science. In normal science theory, science means engagement in puzzle solving. Due to this, it is not essential that all puzzle-solving is successful. In some situation, the scientists may find contrary view from the existing paradigm and it causes increase in the complexity. In accordance to the theory of normal science, a scientist has paradigm to accumulate details slowly in agreement of the broad established theory without creating challenges for the assumptions of theory. This allows a scientist to make bulk of investigation and to conduct scientific work through puzzle-solving process. In normal science, paradigm is critical for practicing normal science (Bar-Am, 2014). In this article, the researcher details this theory is highly suitable for determining deficiencies in the positive research in the field of accounting. By detailing “normal science” theory of Kuhn, the researcher engaged in describing the limitation of applying positive research in accounting practice. The audit-fee concept also laid the development of theoretical framework in this article (Dunmore, 2011). In this article, firm’s decision for charging auditing fee is analyzed to determine difficulties in accounting field to determine the casual relation with the auditing fess and complexity.
The structure and data collection method is the major strength of this article. Secondary data collection method is employed by researcher to include thoughts and opinions of different researchers and to collect relevant information. By using existing literature, arguments for and against positive accounting research is justified clearly that enhances the value of information of this article. Similarly, existing literature from the field of accounting and auditing is also included by the researcher in this article to present relevant theories for making this enquiry highly informed and relevant in terms of analyzing the developed hypotheses. The structure is also other major strength of this article as it is quite effective in terms of testing the developed hypotheses clearly and to improve the relevancy of this research. The structure includes gradual examination of the developed hypotheses and to determine deficiencies in the practice of positive research within the accounting field. After determining deficiencies, this structure includes recommendations and conclusion to enhance the application of positive accounting research.
The applied theory in this article is quite effective to examine the ontology and epistemology of a positive accounting research. But, the theory is not significant in terms of establishing the limitations of the positive accounting research in terms of the practical world. In this article, researcher found that Kuhn's description of “normal" science is more relevant with the positive accounting research. The included theories in this article also have some limitations, which are not investigated in concern of the presented arguments for positive accounting research’s application (Drouin et al., 2013). The author did not acknowledge this limitation. This limitation influences the practicability of the arguments presented for positive research approach.
The Significance and Limitations of the Article
In this article, suggestions for implementing positive approach in accounting field are also discussed, which also lacks practicability. Theories are effectively used by the researcher to depict required improvements regarding theoretical models, statistical tests, measurement methods and replication in the application of positive research. It lacks ways through which the suggestions can be applied to improve the accounting research with the use of positive approach. It reduces the value of the findings in term of contributing in addressing the deficiencies of positive research in accounting setting. This limitation affects the significance of article’s findings and outcomes. In this research article, wide range of theories is employed by the researcher to analyze the application of positive accounting research in the accounting discipline. The methodology of justifying arguments through theories and recent papers is quite effective in terms of making informed findings.
It can be concluded on the basis of above discussion that this article has meaningful discussion for examining the application of positive accounting research in the real world. The critique for this article is valuable in terms of developing an insightful knowledge regarding the theories that facilitates the application of positive accounting research. By including range of existing literature range of theories such as Kuhn’s normal science and Popper’s falsification, researcher presented theoretical evidences regarding the deficiencies of positive accounting research. The application of positive approach in accounting field has several problems such as lack of formal construction of theoretical models, excessive dependence on the hypothesis’s testing models, avoidance for numerical parameters and examination of qualitative data on the basis of theories, which affects the ability to achieve the scientific objectives. This article includes effective examination of developed hypotheses on the basis of existing literature to critically analyze the application of positive research in accosting discipline. The methodology of this research is effective to generate informed findings, but it lacks practicability. This may affect significance of this research’s outcomes.
Bar-Am, N. (2014). The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, 50th. Philosophy of the Social Sciences, 44(5), 688-701.
Dennis, I. (2015). Auditing Theory. UK: Routledge.
Drouin, N., Müller, R. and Sankaran, S. eds. (2013). Novel approaches to organizational project management research: translational and transformational (Vol. 29). Copenhagen Business School Press DK.
Dunmore, P.V. (2011). Half a Defence of Positive Accounting Research. Retrieved From: https://www.whariki.ac.nz/massey/fms/Colleges/College%20of%20Business/School%20of%20Accountancy/Documents/Discussion%20Papers/222.pdf
Popper, K. (2014). Conjectures and refutations: The growth of scientific knowledge. UK: Routledge.
Weakliem, D.L. (2016). Hypothesis Testing and Model Selection in the Social Sciences. Guilford Publications.
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