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.
Despite extensive adoption of Simons’ Levers of Control (LoC) framework, there is still considerable diversity in its operationalization which impedes the coherent…
Despite extensive adoption of Simons’ Levers of Control (LoC) framework, there is still considerable diversity in its operationalization which impedes the coherent development of the literature and compromises its value to researchers. The purpose of this paper is to draw researchers back to the conceptual core of the framework as a basis for stable, consistent definitions of the domain of observables.
We derive the conceptual core of the framework from Simons’ writings. We highlight instability in existing operational definitions of the LoC, weaknesses in the extent to which these definitions reference this conceptual core, and inconsistencies in the restriction of LoC to formal information-based routines.
We draw on the inconsistencies identified to build the case for commensuration or a “common standard” for the framework’s use on two levels: the constructs within the framework (through reference to the conceptual core of the framework) and the framework itself (through explicit inclusion of informal controls).
We illustrate the benefits of commensuration through the potential to guide the scope of the domain of observables in empirical LoC studies, and to study LoC as complementary or competing with other management control theories.
Our approach to resolving tensions arising from inconsistencies in the empirical definitions of LoC differs from others in that we focus on the strategic variables underlying the framework to define the conceptual core. We believe this approach offers greater potential for commensuration at the level of the constructs within the framework and the framework itself.
This study examines the relationship between the motives for balanced scorecard (BSC) adoption and the development and use of the BSC. We expect that a stronger focus on…
This study examines the relationship between the motives for balanced scorecard (BSC) adoption and the development and use of the BSC. We expect that a stronger focus on economic adoption motives is associated with full development of the BSC and its integration into the performance measurement and control systems of the firm. In contrast, we expect that a higher focus on legitimacy as a motive for adoption leads to loose coupling of the BSC with the control systems of the firm. We expect legitimacy as a catalyst to BSC adoption leads to a lower level of BSC development and use, which enables the organization to keep the environment satisfied, but does not influence processes within the organization.
The data are obtained from a web-based survey with 88 useful responses of firms indicating that they use the BSC. The study investigates the relationship between the motives for BSC adoption (economic and legitimacy) and the development and use of the BSC. The results provide evidence for the hypothesis that economic motives for adoption positively affect the development of the BSC. In addition, the results partially support the hypothesis that legitimacy motives negatively affect the use of the BSC. When legitimacy comes via the mechanism of mimetic isomorphism, it has a negative effect on use of the BSC. Surprisingly, however, legitimacy has a positive effect on use when it comes via the mechanism of normative isomorphism.