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Mixed methods in accounting: a field based analysis

Christiaan Lamprecht (School of Accountancy, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa)
Timothy C. Guetterman (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA)

Meditari Accountancy Research

ISSN: 2049-372X

Article publication date: 4 September 2019

Issue publication date: 12 November 2019




This study aims to advance mixed methods as a research methodology in accounting through three research objectives: develop a typology of mixed methods research (MMR) features from current literature, analyse accounting papers published in two leading South African journals against these features, and offer recommendations for best practice going forward.


This paper follows five elements for a MMR review study: identify the methodological aim and choice of discipline; identify the relevant accounting MMR literature and collect the data; develop a codebook and analysis procedures to assess the reviewed papers against; report on the MMR findings; and discuss the findings and make recommendations.


The use of MMR as a methodological approach is increasing; however, in many instances published papers revealed limited methodological detail. Furthermore, most accounting MMR studies use a convergent MMR design, with data collected qualitatively using interviews/focus groups and quantitatively using questionnaires. Finally, accounting education studies is the topic within accounting research that mostly use MMR.

Research limitations/implications

The study is limited to a five-year period and the prevalence of applicable MMR articles during that period in two journals.

Practical implications

This paper presents advantages of using MMR in accounting studies and offer recommendations for best practice to answer the complex accounting research questions of today.


This study is the first systematic examination of how mixed methods is used in accountancy research as reflected in South African journals.



Lamprecht, C. and Guetterman, T.C. (2019), "Mixed methods in accounting: a field based analysis", Meditari Accountancy Research, Vol. 27 No. 6, pp. 921-938.



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