Theory of accounting standards Essay

Academic Research, as a systematic and methodical procedure of question and probe, which is the determiner in scientific discipline to understand the nature of the universe and it plays a important function in cognition addition. The undermentioned essay will compare and contrast two published documents which are “ Towards a positive theory of the finding of accounting criterions ” written by Ross L. Watts and Jerold L. Zimmerman ( 1978 ) and “ Activity-Based Costing and Central Overhead Cost Allocation in Universities: A Case Study ” written by Andrew Goddard and Kean Ooi ( 1998 ) . It will get down with describe the capable affair of these two documents, followed by comparing and contrasting the implicit in research paradigms in these two documents. Then, it will discourse the function of theory in each paper and illustrates the research methodological analysiss derived from their paradigms and the specific methods utilized in these two documents. Finally, I will measure the parts of these two documents to accounting literature and give my ain positions.

These two documents are focus on the same capable affair of research which is the accounting country ; nevertheless, the specific research objects are evidently different. Survey 1978 is a theoretical and conceptual research which paid attending to the accounting criterion and tended to present positive theory to accounting to analyse and measure whether such theory is able to find accounting standard. On the other manus, Study 1998 merely focused on one subdimension of accounting which is the direction accounting and selected one direction accounting method called activity-based cost system to implemented in a specific instance, rating and decision were provided based on the results of instance survey in this paper.

Research paradigm is the basis of any sort of research because it guides how a research can be conducted and which methods and techniques should be adopted during the research. Because of the different research objects and behaviors, it is obvious that different research paradigms implied in each paper. Survey 1978 is a typical research under the positivism paradigm. Positivism paradigm is a traditional research paradigm which assumes that world is independent of research workers and the end is the find of theories based on empirical research ( Collis & A ; Hussey, 2009, p.56 ) . Survey 1978 satisfy the premises of positivism paradigm in big extent, more specifically, the research workers foremost gave their hypothesis which is direction plays a cardinal function in finding accounting criterion, and so illustrated the influencing factors generated from this hypothesis, a statistical theoretical account were be provided following to integrate factors and such theoretical account were be tested by utilizing a existent universe illustration which is corporations ‘ place taken about FASB ‘s Discussion Memorandum on General Price degree Adjustments. Research workers are merely the perceivers and analysers who did non interacted with their research. On the other manus, Study 1998 showed a modesty research paradigm which is the interpretivism paradigm. Interpretivism paradigm, by contrast, believes that societal world is extremely subjective and researcher interacts with what being researched, hence, research worker focal points on researching the complexness of societal phenomena with a position to deriving interpretative apprehension ( Van Maanen, 1983, p.9 ) . In survey 1998, research workers accepted the Activity-Based Cost system as a mean for work outing their research job and designed an ABC theoretical account which underpinned by collected informations. Decision of this paper was based on the results of instance survey and research workers besides gave their ain remarks about their survey and ABC system every bit good.

The functions of theory in these two documents are besides different because of different research paradigms. Positive theory is the footing of Study 1978 and hypothesis was developed under the theory. More exactly, research workers assumed if positive theory can be a new research attack utilized in accounting country. The research object, finding of accounting criterion, is merely as an illustration to measure and turn out that if the positive theory is executable in accounting country. On the other manus, in Study 1998, ABC as a direction accounting theory has already been accepted as a mean for their research. Therefore, the research workers obtain their consequence under the ABC. Nevertheless, research workers are non be restricted by the theory because they are able to depict different forms and knock or develop the existed theory.

Different paradigms besides conveying different research methodological analysiss in these two documents and specific research methods are changing with its methodological analysis. Study 1978 chiefly utilised experimental survey as its methodological analysis, which defied as investigate the relationship between variables and independent variables ‘ effects on dependent variables. Several factors in footings of revenue enhancements, ordinance, political cost, information production, direction compensation programs were picked to represent a mathematical theoretical account in Study 1978. Through the analysis of the theoretical account, discriminant analysis were be developed and several independent variables such as direction compensation, depreciation and net pecuniary assets were be manipulated to prove its hypothesis. For method issue, this paper decides the influencing factors and establishes a theoretical account by reexamining old literatures, and roll uping research informations from published statement and other research workers ‘ mention. They besides often use the quantitative methods to analyse variables and many expression and additive arrested development signifiers were provided. By contrast, Study 1998 focused on one specific instance which is the library service at the University of Southampton. Researchers foremost designed a alone ABC operating expense allotment system and so introduced this system to the fixed instance. They proposed to work out the emerged job of overhead allotment every bit good as happen some alterations during the execution, and so obtain an apprehension from the consequence which might lend to the betterment of theory. All of these characteristics above can be classified as a methodological analysis called action research. Researchers utilised several qualitative methods to carry on its research such as interview and observation. They besides review historical fiscal statements and hunt paperss to obtain cost informations and other utile information. Literature reappraisal can be an of import method which underpins the theoretical footing of their research.

Survey 1978 confirmed the hypothesis that direction is a deciding function in accounting criterion and specifically pointed that house size is the most of import factor will act upon managerial behaviour, which has a important deduction for puting accounting criterion. Furthermore, this decision of this paper convinced the feasibleness of positive theory in accounting research which as a revolution in accounting research country. On the other manus, Study 1998 besides gave us a important decision which solved the job of overhead allotment system in University of Southampton and besides suggested that their rating valid non merely the specific instance but besides other cardinal services. Meanwhile, restriction besides noticed that political effects can be an of import menace to a successful execution of ABC system, which can be a mention when implementing ABC system and besides can act upon the development of ABC theory itself.

In decision, there is no consensus on the perfect model in research because research procedure varies with different research workers ‘ ideas about the universe. However, there are no contradictions between different types of research. Just as former two documents showed it is convinced that no affair which research type used, it can be a good research if its results and attacks exert positive influence on the development of scientific discipline and people ‘s day-to-day life.


  • Collis, J. & A ; Hussey, R. ( 2009 ) . Business Research, 3rd erectile dysfunction. Basingstoke: Macmillan.
  • Gaddard, A. and Ooi, K. ( 1998 ) . Activity-based costing and cardinal operating expense cost allotment in universities: a instance survey, Public Money & A ; Management, Vol. 3, pp. 31-38.
  • Van Maanen, J. ( 1983 ) . Qualitative Methodology, London: Sage.
  • Watts, R.L. and Zimmerman, J.L. ( 1978 ) . Towards a positive theory of the finding of accounting, The accounting reappraisal, Vol. L111, No.1, pp. 112-134.