Before research methods comes “methodising”

Implications for environmental accounting research

Authored by: Ian Thomson

Routledge Handbook of Environmental Accounting

Print publication date:  March  2021
Online publication date:  March  2021

Print ISBN: 9780367152338
eBook ISBN: 9780367152369
Adobe ISBN:


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Environmental accounting and reporting exists in ill-defined, dynamic problem spaces and interacts with different scientific disciplines. These problem spaces require the creation of adaptive, hybrid research methods, rather than just “turning the handle” of existing models. Researchers must imagine and create a compelling case for what and how they are problematising, proposing to change or contributing to future research. This chapter explores the invisible, often silenced work associated with designing research projects by distinguishing the shiny and idealised account of research methods that act to scientifically legitimate findings with the messy process associated with the discovery of these findings. Research method sections in journal articles serve an important function in the communication of findings, but bear no resemblance to the work involved in capturing sufficient, compelling and meaningful evidence. This chapter outlines eight critical stages in bundling together an appropriate research design to address meaningful environmental accounting research questions and by providing an environmental accounting example of methodising.

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