The power of the lens: a comparative analysis of two views of the Fiji Development Bank

Irvine, Helen J. & Deo, Hemant (2006) The power of the lens: a comparative analysis of two views of the Fiji Development Bank. Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, 19(2), pp. 205-227.

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Purpose of this paper: The way theory is used and developed in qualitative research has been a controversial issue, since theory provides a filter through which qualitative data is interpreted, and the "story" is told. A study of the Fiji Development Bank (FDB) demonstrates the impact a different theoretical lens has on the selection and interpretation of events, the story that is produced, and the unique view of the role of accounting within its social context. Design/Methodology/Approach: This paper examines two possible interpretations of the FDB's role under the magnifying glass of Llewellyn's (2003) five levels of theorizing and the world-view of the researchers. Findings: An analysis of the use of theory and the level of theorizing brings to light the difference theory makes to the story that unfolds. On the one hand, accounting is seen as a tool of a repressive system, an example of the outworking of a grand theory, and on the other hand, while no grand theory is overtly employed, the FDB is viewed as a unifying catalyst for the coexistence of two apparently contradictory social institutions. Research limitations/implications: This interpretation of the role and effect of theory in qualitative research is unique and contestable, but forms part of the debate that is a necessary part of the advancement of academic knowledge.
Original value of paper: Llewellyn's claim that higher level theory develops from lower levels of theorizing is challenged, and the assertion is made that grand theory is employed not as the culmination of a theoretical hierarchy, but because of the presence of a preconceived world-view which informs the choice of theory at every level.

Impact and interest:

7 citations in Scopus
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ID Code: 13050
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Theory in qualitative research, Weber, Marx, Giddens, Fiji Development Bank
DOI: 10.1108/09513570610656097
ISSN: 0951-3574
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > BANKING FINANCE AND INVESTMENT (150200) > Banking Finance and Investment not elsewhere classified (150299)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > ACCOUNTING AUDITING AND ACCOUNTABILITY (150100) > Accounting Auditing and Accountability not elsewhere classified (150199)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2006 Emerald Publishing
Copyright Statement: Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Deposited On: 19 Mar 2008 00:00
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:42

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