Innovation, convergence and argument without end in accounting history

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose - This paper seeks to review the accounting history content of Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal (AAAJ) over the last 20 years and to identify distinctive research themes therein. Observations and suggestions are offered in relation to future accounting history research. Design/methodology/approach - The study comprises an analysis of the content of AAAJ and related literature. Findings - Histories appearing in AAAJ have focused on technical issues, accounting in business organisations, cost and management accounting, accounting historiography, professionalisation, and socio-cultural studies of accounting. The journal has been an important medium for the pursuit of interdisciplinarity, the promotion and practical application of new research methods, methodological pluralism, and searches for convergence in historical debates. Research limitations/implications - The paper discusses the potential for advancing established research agendas in accounting history and identifies some new subjects for investigation by accounting historians. Originality/value - It is suggested that, while methodological innovation and plurality are to be applauded, the sustained application of new approaches should also receive greater encouragement. Searches for rapprochement in accounting history debate run the risk of stultifying historical controversy. It is argued that histories of management accounting, gender, class, professionalisation are far from "complete" and should be reignited through the adoption of broader theoretical, temporal and spatial parameters. An emphasis on the performative aspects of accounting in socio-cultural histories is encouraged, as is clearer recognition of the significance of contemporary understandings of the boundaries of accounting. Also emphasised is the desirability of more indigenously sensitised histories of the profession, greater engagement with the "literary turn", and a renewed commitment to interdisciplinarity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)296-322
Number of pages27
JournalAccounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal
Volume21
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2008

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