Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Appears in Collections:Accounting and Finance Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Methodological Issues: The Use of Critical Ethnography as an Active Research Methodology
Author(s): Dey, Colin
Issue Date: 2002
Citation: Dey C (2002) Methodological Issues: The Use of Critical Ethnography as an Active Research Methodology, Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, 15 (1), pp. 106-121.
Abstract: Ethnography has emerged as a potentially valuable empirical means of understanding how and why accounting operates within organisations. However, its use in the accounting literature has not been without controversy. This paper addresses one of the key issues of dispute: the role of critical foundational theories in ethnographic accounting research. First, the paper draws from competing proposals for ethnography in the accounting literature in an attempt to shed further light on the use of critical theory within an ethnographic field study. It is argued that critical theory can be a valuable tool in developing further insights from ethnographic study, but that its timing within the stages of the empirical work is crucial to achieve a balance between understanding and explanation. Second, in highlighting the lessons learnt from the author's own ethnographic research, the paper discusses the (as yet untapped) potential for critical ethnography to inform directly the design and development of new accounting systems. It is proposed that using ethnography "actively" in this way could provide the methodological basis for the development of new forms of accounting, such as social accounting.
DOI Link:
Rights: Publisher policy allows this work to be made available in this repository. Published in Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, 2002, Vol. 15 Issue: 1, pp.106-121 by Emerald. The original publication is available at:

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
Colin Dey Active Ethnography AAAJ paper- final.pdf316.5 kBAdobe PDFView/Open

This item is protected by original copyright

Items in the Repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.

If you believe that any material held in STORRE infringes copyright, please contact providing details and we will remove the Work from public display in STORRE and investigate your claim.