Stuck in the middle with who? (Belatedly) engaging with Laughlin while becoming re-acquainted with Merton and middle range theorising

Robin Roslender

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    6 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The paper engages with Laughlin's 1995 and 2004 contributions to the literature on accounting research methodology, seeking to critique and thereby extend his insights. It does so at a time when the discussion of methodological issues appears less important to many empirical accounting researchers than demonstrating a familiarity with the growing range of theoretical perspectives available to pursue such enquiries. The paper initially outlines Laughlin's original and revised frameworks, following which a number of the resultant attributions of specific schools of thought are questioned. The original categorisation exercise is concluded still to offer an insightful basis on which to compare and contrast empirical research approaches. For this reason, the same exercise is extended to locate three further, currently popular ways of seeing: institutional theory, actor network theory and practice theory. The focus then shifts to a more detailed exploration of the relationship that exists between Laughlin's idea of middle range thinking and Merton's characterisation of middle range theory and theorisation. Informed by the resultant insights, the middle range or substantive theory credentials of a range of schools of thought currently widely subscribed in interdisciplinary accounting research are then examined.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)228-241
    Number of pages14
    JournalCritical Perspectives on Accounting
    Volume24
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - May 2013

    Keywords

    • Methodology
    • middle range theory
    • schools of thought
    • ways of seeing

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