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Cushing's [1989] recent analysis of Kuhn's [1970] characterization of the state of crisis within a discipline's research agenda suggests that the accounting discipline is showing symptoms of such a crisis. In this paper, D.R. Scott's [1931] classical work The Cultural Significance of Accounts is developed in terms of it being one of the earlier and more significant efforts to recognize a pending crisis within the accounting research arena. Scott's work is defined as not only being a precursor to identifying the crisis in accounting research, but also as providing a meaningful basis for addressing the significant issues embedded within the contemporary research crisis. The intellectual underpinnings of D.R. Scott's work are traced to that of Max Weber, Thorstein Veblen, and other scholars concerned with examining the changing status of society and economic organizations. It is argued that it is this critical appraisal of the relationship between economic organizations and society which drives Scott's concern for the fundamental issues at stake for accounting research.



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