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Digital data and management accounting: why we need to rethink research methods

Bhimani, Alnoor ORCID: 0000-0002-1884-5840 (2020) Digital data and management accounting: why we need to rethink research methods. Journal of Management Control, 31 (1-2). 9 - 23. ISSN 2191-4761

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Identification Number: 10.1007/s00187-020-00295-z


Digitalisation is having profound effects on how enterprises function. Its impact on accounting research is growing as the rise of the internet, mobile technologies and digital economy tools generate depth, breadth and variety of data that far exceed what researchers have had access to in the past. But whilst social scientists interested in organisational issues are starting to question conventional methodological approaches to the study of contexts where digital data forms are drawn upon, little such concern has been voiced in the management accounting literature. This paper seeks to explore the continued applicability of conventional methodological thinking when carrying out investigations within digital data environments to inform management accounting studies. It considers why digitalisation impacts methodological precepts, identifies how descriptive and explanatory modes of questioning which management accountants have conventionally opted for need rethinking, discusses ways in which digital data characteristics alter what can be drawn from empirical studies, and points to the potential offered within digitalised settings for methodological advance. It concludes by highlighting the necessity, where digitalisation exists, to question modes of posing questions and to reconsider the applicability of methodological precepts deployed by management accounting researchers to date.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2020 The Author
Divisions: Accounting
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5601 Accounting
T Technology
Date Deposited: 04 Feb 2020 09:33
Last Modified: 19 Jul 2024 03:33

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