To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below:

Comparative research: An opportunity for accounting researchers to learn from other professions

Catriona Paisey (Division of Accounting Finance and Risk, Caledonian Business School, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, UK)
Nicholas J. Paisey (Department of Accounting and Finance, School of Management and Languages, Heriot‐Watt University, Edinburgh, UK)

Journal of Accounting & Organizational Change

ISSN: 1832-5912

Article publication date: 8 June 2010




Although many of the problems currently being faced in accounting education have also been expressed in educational debates within other professions such as medicine, law and architecture, changes in accounting education policy and practice have not been greatly influenced by comparative study of other professions. This paper aims to examine the potentiality of the comparative research method in order to inform the future direction of accounting education.


Comparative methodology has been defined as “a method of analysis that focuses on several objects of study in order to identify similarities and differences”. This paper begins by critiquing the comparative research method before considering how comparative research can make a contribution to research into accounting education policy and professional issues. The extent to which comparative research has been undertaken in accounting education research is then examined.


The potentiality of incorporating ideas from other professional education systems has not been fully exploited in accounting education.

Research limitations/implications

This paper advocates comparing accounting education with that in other professions. Other types of comparative research, for example, international comparisons, are not covered in detail.

Practical implications

Accounting educators and education policy setters should be encouraged to explore the accounting systems of similar professions to generate new ideas for change.


The paper discusses how comparative study, with particular reference to other professions, can be used to inform change in accounting education policy.



Paisey, C. and Paisey, N.J. (2010), "Comparative research: An opportunity for accounting researchers to learn from other professions", Journal of Accounting & Organizational Change, Vol. 6 No. 2, pp. 180-199.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Related articles