Title: Testing vs. building accounting theory with experimental research: insights from management research
Authors: Daniel Reimsbach; Bastian Hauschild
Addresses: Business and Economics Faculty, University of Duesseldorf, Universitätsstr. 1 (Bld. 24.31, Rm. 02.04), 40225 Düsseldorf, Germany ' Business and Economics Faculty, University of Duesseldorf, Universitätsstr. 1 (Bld. 24.31, Rm. 02.04), 40225 Düsseldorf, Germany
Abstract: With this conceptual paper, we want to raise scholars' awareness of the underused potential of experiments in accounting research. We refer to research taxonomies from the management discipline to explore the role of experimental research in testing and building accounting theory. Although the contribution of laboratory research to testing theory is well acknowledged, we argue that exploratory experimental research efforts also have the potential to build new theory, pointing at the underused potential of experiments in current accounting research. In doing so, we (i) provide a clear understanding of theory building and theory testing in accounting research; (ii) present a guideline for assessing the degree of theory building and theory testing inherent in any (experimental) study. Furthermore, we argue that an inter-study triangulation aligning experimental and archival methodologies will have the potential to produce results that are robust to internal and external validity concerns, thus advancing accounting theory.
Keywords: accounting theory; experimental research; theory building; theory testing; research taxonomies; pro forma earnings; accounting research.
International Journal of Behavioural Accounting and Finance, 2015 Vol.5 No.1, pp.82 - 98
Accepted: 31 Mar 2015
Published online: 09 Aug 2015 *