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Pluralist ontology: comments on Llewellyn (2007)

Robert W. Scapens (University of Groningen, Groningen, The NetherlandsManchester Business School, Manchester, UK,University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK,University of Dundee, Dundee, UKLund University, Lund, Sweden)
ChunLei Yang (Manchester Business School, Manchester, UK)

Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management

ISSN: 1176-6093

Article publication date: 7 March 2008




The aim is to provide a commentary on “Case studies and differentiated realities”, a paper by Sue Llewellyn, published in Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management, Vol. 4 No. 1, 2007.


Examines the ontological statements in Llewellyn's paper and analyses her criticisms of the “single reality” ontology of social constructivism.


Critically examines Llewellyn's differentiated worlds by looking at their ontological distinctiveness. Proposes that there are two “dimensions” to an ontological proposition, and that it is necessary to look at both in order to provide a more complete ontological statement. Discusses the extent to which Llewellyn's notion of a “single reality” reflects the ontological position of social constructivism and positivism.


Expands Llewellyn's idea of pluralism in an even broader sphere where “single” and “plural” co‐exist.



Scapens, R.W. and Yang, C. (2008), "Pluralist ontology: comments on Llewellyn (2007)", Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management, Vol. 5 No. 1, pp. 15-20.



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Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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