Realizing the potential of interdisciplinarity in accounting research

Brendan O'Dwyer, Jeffrey Unerman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose – This paper explores the meaning of interdisciplinarity in accounting research and the possible benefits of moving towards a more integrated interdisciplinary approach. It also examines the drawbacks and institutional impediments to such a move.

Design/methodology/approach – The paper draws upon and synthesises the authors’ experiences of involvement in the interdisciplinary accounting community over the past two decades.

Findings – The paper distinguishes between interdisciplinarity at the field level and interdisciplinarity within individual studies. Noting a lack of study-level interdisciplinarity within accounting research, it explores the potential for novel insights emerging from encouragement of such an approach.

Implications/Limitations – Institutional impediments to study-level interdisciplinarity need to be addressed if the accounting academy is to realize the potentially powerful benefits and social contribution of such an approach to research. A key limitation is that the paper is based primarily on the observations and perspectives of the authors.

Originality/value – The paper provides a distinction between field-level and study-level interdisciplinarity
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1227-1232
Number of pages6
JournalAccounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 6 Oct 2014


  • Interdisciplinarity; Interdisciplinary accounting research; Approaches to accounting research.

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