Navigating netnography: A guide for the accounting researcher

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Netnography (Kozinets) is a new research method that has become increasingly popular within the social sciences. The purpose of this paper is to introduce the accounting scholar to this new methodology and suggest its role in researching issues of accountability. The paper first advocates the significance of the online world as a research site for the accounting scholar and provides a review of the extant accounting literature that has used the internet as a data source. It then summarizes the key components of netnography and reviews the recent scholarship in qualitative accounting that has used this new methodology. Opportunities for future research are subsequently discussed. In particular, the paper promotes the use of netnography for furthering an understanding of accountability, whether that be in private, public, or nonprofit organizations. Advances in technology have created new forms of engagement between corporates and stakeholders and between government and citizens. It has launched new arenas to complain and voice opinion and a plethora of new performance metrics. Netnography offers scholars the methodological tools to research such new modes of accountability in the digital age.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
JournalFinancial Accountability and Management
Early online date6 Mar 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 6 Mar 2020


  • accountability
  • internet
  • methodology
  • netnography
  • virtual ethnography


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