The Road Less Travelled: An Overview and Example of Constructivist Research in Accounting

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Australasian Accounting, Business and Finance Journal, ISSN: 1834-2019, Vol: 6, Issue: 5, Page: 3-22

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Bisman, Jayne E.; Highfield, Charmayne
Constructivism; Social constructionism; Qualitative research; Accountants; Organisational justice; Fairness; Interviewing elites; Demographic data; M40
article description
This article provides a discussion of the nature of constructivism as a research paradigm within the context of accounting and presents a detailed example of a research study to demonstrate the application of this paradigm. The commentary features a particular emphasis on how the practicalities involved in designing and conducting the research meshed with the philosophy of the research paradigm. The illustrative research project concerns an investigation of organisational justice in the context of fairness in the workplace in public accounting firms. Semi-structured interviews were used to collect data, and textual transcriptions were interpreted using thematic methods and discourse analysis. The aim of the discussion and exemplar is to render constructivist approaches to research in accounting more accessible and apprehensible for researchers unfamiliar with, or new to, this field of qualitative inquiry.