The field research method as applied to Behavioural Accounting Research
The objective of this chapter is to provide an overview on the role and characteristics of case study research. In so doing, we describe different types of case studies and the specific methodological choices involved in case-based research on how to collect, analyze and report case evidence. In particular, we illustrate how case-based research offers the possibility to understand accounting in its practical setting as well as multifaceted phenomena where many variables come into play. Case studies are presented as being suitable when a theory is not well developed or when existing theories are incomplete and are said to be effective to understand discontinuity and disequilibrium. Moreover, case studies are suggested to be particularly useful in highlighting practical questions and issues, and subsequently in providing guidance for solving concrete problems. Finally, despite the prejudice that case studies are an easy means to conduct research, we underline case-based research is a highly labour-intensive and time-consuming process requiring sharpness in identifying important details, interpersonal ability to interact with the subjects, elegance in approaching the field, acumen and originality in analyzing and interpreting data.