Title: The use of positive and normative approaches in Brazil and US accounting research: a comparative analysis based on the papers published in The Accounting Review and the Revista de Contabilidade & Financas (Accounting & Finance Journal) – 1989 to 2008

Authors: Octavio R. de Mendonca Neto, Ricardo Lopes Cardoso, Jose Carlos Tiomatsu Oyadomari, Edson Luiz Riccio

Addresses: Applied Social Sciences Center Accounting Department, Universidade Presbiteriana Mackenzie, Rua da Consolacao 896, Sao Paulo, 01302-907, SP, Brazil. ' Applied Social Sciences Center Accounting Department, Universidade Presbiteriana Mackenzie, Rua da Consolacao 896, Sao Paulo, 01302-907, SP, Brazil. ' Applied Social Sciences Center Accounting Department, Universidade Presbiteriana Mackenzie, Rua da Consolacao 896, Sao Paulo, 01302-907, SP, Brazil. ' Accounting Department, Business School, Universidade de Sao Paulo – USP, Av. Prof. Luciano Gualberto 908, Sao Paulo, 05508-900, SP, Brazil

Abstract: This paper presents a comparative analysis about the temporal evolution of normative and positive approaches as paradigms in Brazil and the US accounting research. The study is based on results of a descriptive documental research in the papers published in the Revista de Contabilidade & Financas (Accounting & Finance Journal) – RCF for the Brazilian case and in The American Accounting Review – TAR for the US case. The study concerns also on linking the research published by these journals with the accounting control and disclosure functions. The results suggest that the researches published by RCF, although with an important time lag, follow the same trend as those published by TAR, in other words the predominance almost absolute of positive approach, trend that does not exempt from criticism. These results are lined up with recent studies conducted in Europe that also show an increasing predominance of positive approach. The article suggests a thorough analysis of the criticisms related to the predominance of the positivist paradigm and recommends that the journals of accounting research become more receptive not only to alternative approaches and interdisciplinary but that also privilege the studies related to the practice of the profession.

Keywords: positive accounting; normative accounting; accounting paradigms; accounting research; Brazil; USA; United States; accounting control; disclosure.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEA.2010.037573

International Journal of Economics and Accounting, 2010 Vol.1 No.4, pp.316 - 330

Available online: 19 Dec 2010 *

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