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Publication Date

1997

Abstract

Historical research in accounting and management, hitherto largely neglected as a field of inquiry by many management and accounting researchers, has experienced a resurgence of interest and activity in research conferences and journals over the past decade. The potential lessons of the past for contemporary issues have been rediscovered, but the way forward is littered with antiquarian narratives, methodologically naive analyses, ideologically driven interpretation and ignorance of the traditions, schools and philosophy of the craft by accounting and management researchers as well as traditional and critical historians themselves. This paper offers an introduction to contributions made to the philosophies and methods of history by significant historians in the past, a review of some of the influential schools of historical thought, insights into philosophies of historical knowledge and explanation and a brief introduction to oral and business history. On this basis the case is made for the philosophically and methodologically informed approach to the investigation of our past heritage in accounting and management.

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