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Photo-elicitation: an ethno-historical accounting and management research prospect


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  • Lee D. Parker
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    Purpose – The purpose of the paper is to explore the methodological dimensions and potential of photo-elicitation, particularly as a historical research tool for archival, oral and critical accounting, and management historians. Design/methodology/approach – The analysis draws upon the methodological, theoretical and empirical literatures of visual anthropology, visual sociology, visual ethnography, oral history, and visual research methods and develops a methodological agenda for photo-elicitation research in accounting and management history. Findings – It reveals the potential for contextualised, interpretive and critical discovery in accounting and management history. The prospect of peeling back of hidden layers and voices is significantly enhanced by the introduction of photo-elicitation, which offers empowerment not only through the visual triggering of memory but through the negotiation and construction of images themselves. Originality/value – The prospect of more direct access to organisational and personal experience and context is accompanied by new understandings of multiple voices and fresh narratives. Together, these promise potential insights from the particular to the societal.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Emerald Group Publishing in its journal Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal.

    Volume (Year): 22 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 7 (September)
    Pages: 1111-1129

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    Handle: RePEc:eme:aaajpp:v:22:y:2009:i:7:p:1111-1129

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    Postal: Emerald Group Publishing, Howard House, Wagon Lane, Bingley, BD16 1WA, UK

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    Keywords: Accounting history; Photographs; Research methods; Visual media;


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    1. Graves, O. Finley & Flesher, Dale L. & Jordan, Robert E., 1996. "Pictures and the bottom line: The television epistemology of U.S. annual reports," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 57-88, January.
    2. Preston, Alistair M. & Young, Joni J., 2000. "Constructing the global corporation and corporate constructions of the global: a picture essay," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 25(4-5), pages 427-449, May.
    3. Davis, Stanley W. & Menon, Krishnagopal & Morgan, Gareth, 1982. "The images that have shaped accounting theory," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 7(4), pages 307-318, October.
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    Cited by:
    1. Jane Davison & Samantha Warren, 2009. "Imag[in]ing accounting and accountability," Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 22(6), pages 845-857, August.


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