Reflections on the interdisciplinary perspectives on accounting project

Robin Roslender, Jesse F Dillard

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    122 Citations (Scopus)


    The purpose of the interdisciplinary perspectives on accounting (IPA) project is to have an impact on the theory and practice of accounting as well as the surrounding social processes. The following discussion outlines the birth and maturation of the contemporary IPA project and concludes that the undertaking is divided along methodological, philosophical, and ideological lines. In addressing these issues, we propose to clarify and differentiate the nature and purpose of the contemporary IPA and critical accounting projects. The interdisciplinary work is directed generally toward a more complete understanding of accounting theory and practice and of the broader social institution of accountancy. The purpose of interdisciplinary studies is to heighten the awareness of those parties who are implicated in its enactment. The critical accounting project is viewed as a subset of the interdisciplinary project and provides a focus for those who wish to devise an approach that consciously privileges the linkage of knowledge to the pursuit of a radical political process. Whatever labels are employed, it must be recognized that though participants in the interdisciplinary project might disagree as to its source, intensity, and influence, the totalizing influence of hegemonic power is present in society and the world. This is so whether one classifies that world as modern or postmodern, or whether we see change as possible on a global level or only within some local sphere; issues of human rights, human dignity, and the human condition must be of central concern. Regardless of the interdisciplinary origin or grounding, we must continually affirm a commitment to a more socially responsible institution of accountancy. In our view, the critical accounting project provides a focus for those who wish to devise an approach to accounting studies that consciously privileges the realization of the philosophy of praxis. Those who choose the critical accounting project must recognize, however, that without an ever expanding interdisciplinary horizon, the critical project is likely to degenerate either into tyranny or quietism.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)325-351
    Number of pages27
    JournalCritical Perspectives on Accounting
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2003


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