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Mixed methods research in accounting

Jennifer Grafton (Department of Accounting and BIS, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia)
Anne M. Lillis (Department of Accounting and BIS, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia)
Habib Mahama (School of Accounting and BIS, The Australian National University, Canberra, Australia)

Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management

ISSN: 1176-6093

Article publication date: 12 April 2011




The purpose of this paper is to set the scene for this special issue by synthesising the vast array of literature to examine what constitutes mixed methods research, and the associated strengths and risks attributed to this approach.


This paper takes the form of a literature review. The authors draw on extensive methods research from a diverse range of social science disciplines to identify and explore key definitions, opportunities and risks in mixed methods studies. They review a number of accounting studies that adopt mixed methods research approaches. This allows the authors to analyse variance in how mixed methods research is conceptualised across these studies and evaluate the perceived strengths and limitations of specific mixed methods design choices.


The authors identify a range of opportunities and challenges in the conduct of mixed methods research and illustrate these by reference to both published studies and the other contributions to this special issue.


With the exception of Modell's work, there is sparse discussion of the application and potential of mixed methods research in the extant accounting literature.



Grafton, J., Lillis, A.M. and Mahama, H. (2011), "Mixed methods research in accounting", Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management, Vol. 8 No. 1, pp. 5-21.



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