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With Possible Conjecture Of Epistemology And Ontology

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Discuss With Possible Conjecture of Epistemology and Ontology ?




The following assignment throws light upon the article “Half a Defence of Positive Accounting Research” by Paul V Dunmore.  In this research article, the author gives his viewpoint towards possible merits and demerits of positive accounting theory in the context of modern era.  In this article, the author also talks about the usage of positive accounting theory and a accounting research program instead of normal accounting approach of “PAT” (Profit after Tax). This has been done with possible conjecture of epistemology and ontology.  However,. The author also throughs light on several limitations of positive accounting theory based on the foundation of several theoretical frameworks.


Summary of the given article

Robson & McCartan (2016) opine that the concept of positive accounting theory is derived based on scientific research analysis. The given article also summarizes the positive impact and effect of positive accounting in the world of accounting.  This concept also highlights the relationship of two variables and correlation between the given variables. Wilkinson & Durden (2015) opines that past research articles infers that there is a positive correlation between positive accounting theory and the concept of scientific research analysis. The given article talks about the different classes of the accounting theory and only theoretical induction is not an evident tool in case of accounting theory. Due to this reason, one single observation is not suitable enough in case of any specific theory in case of accounting. Therefore, ranges of observations are required to support a specific accounting theory. In addition to this, the author has developed an idea of accounting research program in order to evaluate about the existence of PAT in the current system of accounting. The given research program will main to develop the process of human interactions with the help of effective explanations of the concept of PAT in accounting.  In addition to this, it can be inferred that while doing statistical hypothesis testing, it has been found that Popper’s falsification criterion can be considered weaker. Smith (2014) infers that the given positive accounting program can be considered as extremely powerful, however, the given concepts has certain weakness associated with it.  However, the theoretical background of this program is useful; however, the practical implication of the program is not at all powerful.  These drawbacks can be summarized with the help of the following points:-

  • Lack of appropriate hypothesis testing
  • Lack of parameters while evaluating numerical interest
  • Insufficient replica of the past theories
  • Only qualitative data is being used rather than statistical testing of data.

In addition to this, it can be deduced that positive accounting theory may not help to attain scientific objectives. Due to this reason, it can be the concept of normal science described in Kohn can be considered as perfect for fitting the concept of positive theory of accounting.  This is done through through Kuhnian crisis and revolution. In addition to this, various reasons behind conducting of statistical hypothesis have been revived by Popper. It has been observed that 5% of any given statistical test is considered to be rejected at 5% confidence level. The article explains and evaluates proper concepts of ontology and epistemology with proper justification of testing of different hypothesis.  The article summarizes different forms of qualitative aspects of accounting and completely ignores the quantitative part. Finally, the article recognizes the need of advanced theoretical accounting models to reduce the total amount of vulnerability in the process of research. Apart from this, the given research article also helps to analyse the process of positive research and how it can be utilized in the field of accounting.


Research Questions

The article can be evaluated with the help of several research questions based on the importance of positive accounting theory and the program related to it.  The given research questions are as follows:-

  • To analyse the exact loopholes of positive accounting theory related to scientific research
  • To evaluate whether positive research programme can be evaluated as an effective alternative of PAT
  • To investigate different aspects of ontology and its impact on the given positive research accounting programme.

However, in accordance to the given research questions some possible research hypothesis have also been considered based on this given article.  These are as follows:-

H0- Universal existence, which is way beyond the imagination power of individuals

The alternative hypotheses are as follows:-

H1- Every event takes place because of a reason in this universe

H2- Every event, which is happening, can be taken into consideration by means of observations.

The entire three hypotheses can be analysed with the help of concepts of positive research accounting. For example, in case of first hypothesis, it can be inferred that group interaction can be implied through various concepts of accounting.  By means of this, the first hypothesis can be tested.  On the other hand, the second hypothesis can be tested through concepts of ontology and epistemology. In addition to this, the third hypothesis can be testing through falsification. This can be done with the help of proper observation of all the theories of the research. These hypothesis and research questions have been evaluated based on the given research article.

Theoretical Framework

The given and the concept of positive accounting theory can be further evaluated with the help of an effective theoretical framework.

Effective usage of the accounting research program discussed in the given article

As per the given article, it can be inferred that there is a huge demand for the given positive accounting theoretical program. There are wide reasons behind it.  It has been inferred that in case of hypothesis testing, different vulnerable variables can be noticed. Due to this reason, there is a huge need of stringed hypothesis testing. This can be further done with the help of the given accounting research program (Guthrie & Parker, 2016).

Concepts of ontology and epistemology

The concepts ontology and epistemology plays a key role in the field of accounting. The former concept opines the behaviour of the variables in accordance to the question, while the later concept infers about new areas of areas of research (Gaffikin & Aitken, 2014). .  Both these concepts also explain the need for the two in accounting and it also highlights the limitations of positive accounting theory.


Positive research accounting theory

The concept of positive research accounting theory is based on several assumptions. However, the term positive research can be considered to be broad with respect to positive accounting theory. It also assumed wide wings of social science related to various forms of accounting observations. In addition to this, the theoretical framework of the article explains of Popperian criterion, qualitative research in research practices of Popper, strengths and weakness of statistical data as well as qualitative approach.  Based upon the theoretical framework, the strengths and weakness of the article can be evaluated (Jones & Aiken, 2015)

Significance and Limitations of the article

The article helped in understanding the accounting theories from a wider perspective. This ensures that casual relation with respect to humans is covered in the theories (Jones & Aiken, 2015). Different types of intellectual research have been taken care of by the article. Apart from these, the aspect that has been shed light on includes the cause and relationship of the humans and their relation with accounting theory. The understanding of the positive accounting programs have been analyzed in the article successfully. This enhances the scientific research and the base of understanding based on the rational research methods. The research article can also be considered significant as it helps to analyze certain factors of accounting related to human psychology. This has been done with the help of the theories of ontology and epistemology. It also develops a systematic procedure of accounting information with establishment of normal science theory by Kohn. The article also throws light on estimation of research parameters, however, it failed to highlight the manner while doing so.

However, on the contrary it might be said that the human awareness of the accounting theory programs have not been included in the article. The loophole further includes no data collection procedure from the humans.  In addition to this, there is no link to the primary method or secondary method of data collection. The article must have supported the accounting theory with relevant models. The conclusion that has been mentioned in the article lacks the feasibility due to unavailability of quantitative data. Finally, the article is based on the viewpoint of the author, as it is reflective in nature. Hence, in few aspects the conclusion might be questioned as it is the perception derived from only secondary materials. However, this article is important while looking after the positive accounting theory.



It can concluded the article has been important whole analyzing different aspects of positive accounting theory. On the contrary as mentioned above, it lacked few rational idea. However, it is crucial that accounting theory must be based on rational and scientific research. The deep indulgence of epistemological approach in the theory is not only framed hypothesis serves as one of the base for positive accounting theory.  This should be ensured through collection of data.



Dyckman, T. R., & Zeff, S. A., (2015). Accounting Research: Past, Present, & Future. Abacus, 51(4), pp.511-524.

Gaffikin, M., & Aitken, M., (2014). The Development of Accounting Theory (RLE Accounting): Significant Contributors to Accounting Thought in the 20th Century. Routledge.

Guthrie, J., & Parker, L. D., (2016). Whither the accounting profession, accountants & accounting researchers? Commentary & projections. Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, 29(1), pp.2-10.

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

Jones, S. (Ed.)., 2015. The routledge companion to financial accounting theory. Routledge.

Jones, S., & Aiken, M., (2015). Evolution of early practice descriptive theory in accounting. The Routledge Companion to Financial Accounting Theory, p.91.

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

Robson, C. & McCartan, K., (2016. )Real world research. John Wiley & Sons.

Rogers, J.L. & Van Buskirk, A., (2013). Bundled forecasts in empirical accounting research. Journal of Accounting & Economics, 55(1), pp.43-65.

Smith, M., (2014). Research methods in accounting. Sage.

Tucker, B.P., Parker, L.D. & Merchant, K.A., 2016. With a little help from our friends: An empirical investigation of co-authoring in accounting research. The British Accounting Review, 48(2), pp.185-205.

Wilkinson, B.R. & Durden, C.H., 2015. Inducing structural change in academic accounting research. Critical Perspectives on Accounting, 26, pp.23-36.


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