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Half A Defence Of Positive Accounting Theory

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To detect how epistemology as well as ontology can have an effect on research programs?

Identifying how positive accounting research could be used in fulfilling different scientific objective?

To evaluate particular paradigm proposed by Kuhn with adequate theories and experiments?




The study critically evaluate the article “half a defence of positive accounting research”, which is been presented by Paul V Dunmore. The study mainly evaluates the article, research questions, and theoretical structure by depicting all the relevant limitations and significance of the article. The overall structure comprises of critical evaluation of the article, which is been presented by Paul V Dunmore.

The overall article mainly provides details about positive accounting and the impacts of human behaviour in the accounting background. In addition, the article also evaluates the statistical hypothesis testing and provide adequate rational. Moreover, the article uses Poppers fabrication criterion for evaluating different theories related to positive accounting. Furthermore, the study also evaluates ontology and epistemology of the research program. Moreover, the article also indicates the different challenges, which is faced by theoretical models, which examined under hypothesis testing.  The paper mainly provides detailed assumption, why accounting theories should be evaluated based on qualitative data rather than illustrations observations.


Summary of the article:

The article many aims to identify the positive approach associated with accounting research with the help of ontology and epistemology. In this context, Ball (2013) stated that accounting approach is linked with intellectual property, which could be evaluated by using cause-effect relationship. Moreover, the article has mainly used different theories, which help in identifying the deficiencies in positive accounting. After the overall analysis, it could be understood that there are certain loopholes in accounting research, which reduces its ability to accomplish scientific goals. Besides, the study also evaluates different human behaviour in an organisation, which is faced by direct interactions with different personal, while making decisions. In addition the article also states that both epistemology and ontology is able to detect the deficiencies associated with positive accounting is research.  These deficiencies mainly reduce ability of positive accounting to make adequate contributions in the accounting sphere.  The article also evaluates the intellectual enquiries, which is used for deriving the falsified hypothesis testing (Beattie 2014).

Moreover, the article mainly identifies hypothesis testing as the scientific approach, which does not accommodate understanding of specific phenomena in accounting theory.  Furthermore, the article explains why ontology and epistemology is used for reducing the falsification, which is presented by hypothesis testing.  The use of qualitative positive research mainly allows accommodation of certain accounting phenomenon’s in the theory. In addition, it also helps in examining different theories and reducing the weaknesses, which was previously presented by statistical hypothesis testing. Furthermore, the article mainly suggests using qualitative positive research for evaluating the final project in positive accounting theory. On the other hand, Bebbington, Unerman and O'Dwyer (2014) mainly argued that statistical tool are only useful when numerical valuation needs to be evaluated, while it loses its friction on theoretical evaluation.  However, some of the researchers mentioned that use of hypothesis testing allows an error free evaluation of theories, which could be used for future referencing.

The researcher in the article mainly depicts the Poopers criterion, which many states that induction is not sufficient to measure viability of particular theories.  Moreover, the article also states that positive accounting theory is based on four testing classes error measurement, internal effects, external effect, and inefficiency of relativity theory.   Thus, the researcher depicted in the article that untrustworthy observations could not be used in identifying viability of the theories (Bhaskar 2013).  This mainly indicated that observations with falsifying evidence must be discarded based on case report of opposing theories. Poopers criterion mainly stated that the use of adequate trustworthy observations theory could be developed to support positive accounting research.

Lastly, the article mainly focuses in dissecting the weaknesses and logic of using statistical tools such as hypothesis testing. The article also states that out of 20 articles one single test was always rejected due to non-compliance with the 5% significance level. Furthermore, the article also depicts the reason for failure of hypothesis testing, which uses null hypothesis on deriving supplementary assumptions.  The article also stated that after removing the technical failures in hypothesis testing it could still not help in increasing success probability, as it is a statistical tool, which does not understand certain phenomenal activities (Blankespoor et al. 2013). Thus, the article states that a better measurement theory should be developed to undergo rigorous testing of theoretical models for improving the accounting sphere.

 However the research questions that is been used in the article is mainly used to examine the following points.

  • To identify the extent positive accounting could help in achieving scientific objectives
  • To evaluate whether positive accounting theory has a much broader notion than positive research program
  • To Pinpoint weather aspects of ontology as well as epistemology can have any impact on particular search program
  • Analysing the impact of Kuhn’s illustrations, which help in identifying the the ability of positive accounting   for attaining its potential.

Theoretical Framework:

Three are some theoretical framework, which are depicted in the article; this theatrical framework is mainly designed from objectives of the research.

Illustration of positive research in accounting:

This self interest among parties is the outcome of accounting phenomena, which expresses different contracts in an organisation these phenomena is mainly used for improving financial of company. The positive research in accounting mainly provides different choices, which are conducted by managers in an organisation.  This also helps in choosing the adequate accounting practices, which might help managers to undertake relevant pricing and reporting decisions.  In this context, Bonin (2013) mainly stated that investors mainly use all the relevant information, which are provided to them for making any investment decisions.  This mainly states that behaviour of an individual is rational, while there is no evidence of any types of games occurring in positive accounting.

Furthermore, after examining various resources conducted on accounting theory it could be understood that sufficient techniques is used by auditing professionals.  Thus, the article depicts the evidence pertaining positive research is broader and bigger than theory of positive accounting. The article effectively states that scientific accounting research aims in obtaining an overview of the nature and reasons of phenomenal accounting (Cervone and Pervin 2015).

Scientific epistemology and ontology:

Both the concept of epistemology and ontology is  been depicted in the article, epistemology is mainly identified as an approach, which helps in obtaining an insight of the world, while ontology only aims in depicting the relation between answering the question . Just with the help of epistemology and ontology over issues which is  faced by accounting phenomena could be evaluated.  The use of epistemology mainly helps in understanding the experience of individuals and descriptions of the participants.  However, it is not possible to observers to quantify the world prospective of experience or individuals (Chen et al. 2013).

The main issue, which has been identified, is exploration of meaning in experience regarding positive research.  In addition, issue of identifying the exact meaning and experience with the visuals is futile, as everyone has their own will that might lead to causes, which does not consent scientific studies (Crawford and Lepine 2013).


Identification of an adequate program related to positive result:

The article mainly states that adequate model needs to be repaired, which could be used as a rigorous testing tool for identifying and analysing the variable measurements in accounting sphere.  This model could mainly help in testing and developing theoretical models, which could help in shifting from traceability to plausibility.

The researcher has mainly identified the need for an effective testing tool, which might help in linking relevant theories and reduce the hindrance unavailability of sufficient resources. In this context, Dalton (2013) mentioned that development in the accounting period could mainly help in improving the current accounting measures and reduce any unethical conduct of an organisation. The development of an effective testing tool could mainly allow the theories and models to be tested rigorously, which might help in approving viability of the accounting sphere.

Significance and Limitations of the article:

The article mainly allows the reader to understand and acknowledge of positive accounting as a broader respective and concept.  In addition, the article also helps in developing an intellectual research project, which could understand the cause and effect relationship (Smith et al. 2015). The study indicates that positive research program is a much wider and broader concept than positive accounting theory. The study also allows in understanding that both economics and accounting could be evaluated based on scientific research programs.  However, the use of hypothesis testing is strictly argued in the article, as it does not provide adequate research outcome according to accounting theory. The article also states that gaining knowledge regarding accounting could be suitable for supporting the positive accounting research. Francis, Hasan and Wu (2013) mentioned that improvement in accounting concept could eventually help in reducing the unethical practices, which are conducted by companies.

The article mainly helps in panning out the gap between current practices of positive accounting theories. In addition, it also states that there is some absence of system optimisation, which needs to be rectified for improving rational insight of scientific research.  The article many states that there is need of more adequate and prominent theoretical models, which are more reliable in nature and support the accounting approach. The researcher in the study also stated and proved that positive accounting theory could only be quantified by using qualitative models (Henderson et al. 2015).

However, there are some limitations to the article, which mainly reduces viability of the study for improving positive accounting approach. The article mainly ignores the need for awareness of human behaviour in context of accounting, as it does not help in improving the accounting approach. Secondly, the article also lacks in gathering the adequate data from various sources, which could have been used in supporting or arguing the significance of positive accounting theory.  The lacks of secondary and primary research has mainly reduced the overall viability of the article and depict the need for positive accounting research (Miller and Power 2013). Furthermore, rational that was provided by researcher regarding falsification of hypothesis testing is very weak. However, the article is not able to identify all the relevant gaps between actual practice of positive accounting research and the intellectual program in the study. Yet another drawback of the research is that it identifies scientific project as slow, which might not help in improving the positive accounting research. Lastly, it could be understood that the article does not provide any justification or contributes any methods, which could be used in completing the scientific projects faster. In this context, Pearlin and Bierman (2013) argued that limitations mainly allow new researchers for improving the accounting concept and nullify any remaining limitations.



The overall study has been evaluated both epistemology and ontology, as the aspect of positive accounting research. The study also states that different models, which has been developed is must not be tested by using the hypothesis-testing tool. With the help of this study, overall loopholes could be identified in accounting theory, which has been hampering the accounting practices. The article mainly stated and recommended that new theoretical models should be formulated for detailed testing on accounting variables.  Furthermore, better analytical and measurement tool needs to be developed, which could help in analysing the accounting theories. Moreover, the article also stated that behaviour of human beings are rational, which cannot be accommodate by positive accounting theory.  The article specifically stated that positive accounting programs should be prioritised for using qualitative aspects of accounting.  This could mainly help in predicting adequate future performance of organisation. Thus, it could be understood that slight modification and positive accounting needs to be conducted for minimising the organisation errors which are presented by the accounting theory.



Ball, R., 2013. Accounting informs investors and earnings management is rife: Two questionable beliefs. Accounting Horizons, 27(4), pp.847-853.

Beattie, V., 2014. Accounting narratives and the narrative turn in accounting research: Issues, theory, methodology, methods and a research framework. The British Accounting Review, 46(2), pp.111-134.

Bebbington, J., Unerman, J. and O'Dwyer, B., 2014. Sustainability accounting and accountability. Routledge.

Bhaskar, R., 2013. A realist theory of science. Routledge.

Blankespoor, E., Linsmeier, T.J., Petroni, K.R. and Shakespeare, C., 2013. Fair value accounting for financial instruments: Does it improve the association between bank leverage and credit risk?. The Accounting Review, 88(4), pp.1143-1177.

Bonin, H., 2013. Generational accounting: theory and application. Springer Science & Business Media.

Cervone, D. and Pervin, L.A., 2015. Personality, Binder Ready Version: Theory and Research. John Wiley & Sons.

Chen, L.H., Folsom, D.M., Paek, W. and Sami, H., 2013. Accounting conservatism, earnings persistence, and pricing multiples on earnings. Accounting Horizons, 28(2), pp.233-260.

Crawford, E.R. and Lepine, J.A., 2013. A configural theory of team processes: Accounting for the structure of taskwork and teamwork. Academy of Management Review, 38(1), pp.32-48.

Dalton, M., 2013. Men who manage: Fusions of feeling and theory in administration. Transaction Publishers.

Francis, B., Hasan, I. and Wu, Q., 2013. The benefits of conservative accounting to shareholders: Evidence from the financial crisis. Accounting Horizons, 27(2), pp.319-346.

Henderson, S., Peirson, G., Herbohn, K. and Howieson, B., 2015. Issues in financial accounting. Pearson Higher Education AU.

Miller, P. and Power, M., 2013. Accounting, organizing, and economizing: Connecting accounting research and organization theory. Academy of Management Annals, 7(1), pp.557-605.

Pearlin, L.I. and Bierman, A., 2013. Current issues and future directions in research into the stress process. In Handbook of the sociology of mental health (pp. 325-340). Springer Netherlands.

Smith, R.A., Manassaram?Baptiste, D., Brooks, D., Doroshenk, M., Fedewa, S., Saslow, D., Brawley, O.W. and Wender, R., 2015. Cancer screening in the United States, 2015: A review of current American Cancer Society guidelines and current issues in cancer screening. CA: a cancer journal for clinicians, 65(1), pp.30-54.


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