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Speaking of Theories and Models in the Accounting Sciences

  • Gilberto de Andrade Martins


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    Just as happens with the concept of theory, the meaning of model is also very diffuse. This paper intends to contribute to a better understanding of the distinct concepts of theory and model as used in accounting science by clarifying the sense of the two dimensions, following an epistemological path of logical ordering. Theories, understood as gathered knowledge with diverse levels of systematization and credibility whose purpose is to explain, elucidate, interpret and unify given domains of social phenomena, are compared with the concept of models – knowledge obtained about the structure and/or behavior of a system, aiming to explain and predict the properties of systems according to well-formulated scientific theories. A model seeks to specify the nature and importance of relations among variables, constructs, factors, etc. that can offer, based on scientific theories, explanations of a given system. It can be affirmed that a model is the theory of the system. The main functions of theories and models are presented and discussed, and some ‘models’ of theories and accounting science models are exemplified.

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    Article provided by Fucape Business School in its journal Brazilian Business Review.

    Volume (Year): 2 (2005)
    Issue (Month): 2 (July)
    Pages: 124-137

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    Handle: RePEc:bbz:fcpbbr:v:2:y:2005:i:2:p:124-137
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