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Reflexivity and academic identity in accounting: intersubjective reflexive identity work as a feminist academic

Kathryn Haynes (Business School, Northumbria University, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK)

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal

ISSN: 0951-3574

Article publication date: 5 January 2023




I provide an exploration and critique of reflexive research practice, which explores the nature of reflexivity, its relevance to and influence on accounting academic identity formation.


The paper gives detailed explanations of three different approaches to reflexivity dependent on perspectives on reality and exemplifies the chosen approach – intersubjective reflexivity. It draws from three personal experiences to illustrate intersubjective reflexive practice in action and its impact on academic identity, including my own identity as a feminist accounting academic. The examples involve the process of reflexively “being struck” regarding voice and representation; addressing power, privilege and decolonisation in knowledge production; and negotiating insider/outsider academic identities.


I reconceptualise and illustrate reflexivity as academic identity formation that enables transformative experience and more reflexive academic praxis within a turbulent academic context. Reflexive academic identity formation will resonate with accounting academics who are reflecting on the role and purpose of the accounting academy and their identity within it.


The paper provides a significant contribution into understanding intersubjective reflexivity, by reconceptualising intersubjective reflexivity beyond research and applying it to the identity formation of accounting academics. I identify the process of reflexive identity transformation through active engagement in identity work and emotion work, which transforms academic praxis. I argue for a broader more nuanced and power-laden perspective on reflexivity and academic praxis, which moves us to consider the responsibility of our academic identity and actions as accounting academics.



Kathryn Haynes acknowledges the funding and support of the Leverhulme Trust for the award of a Leverhulme Trust Major Fellowship, MRF-2021-084, which enabled the writing of this paper.


Haynes, K. (2023), "Reflexivity and academic identity in accounting: intersubjective reflexive identity work as a feminist academic", Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.



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