A critical review of interventionist research

Vicki Baard*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to further develop the epistemological base of interventionist research (IR) as a valid accounting and management research methodology, through the identification of intervention theory and an IR framework derived from social sciences. Moreover, this paper seeks to contribute to empirical knowledge of IR through a critical review of limited empirical evidence relating to intervention theory and the extant IR frameworks derived from action research. Design/methodology/approach Texts and academic journal papers that judiciously review intervention theory, intervention research frameworks were identified systematically; along with empirical research addressing theoretical and methodological deficiencies of IR and, providing evidence to inform practical considerations when undertaking IR. Findings The key findings include rare empirical evidence addressing theoretical shortcomings and application of intervention theory, an IR framework derived from social sciences with extremely limited use in accounting and management research, deficiencies in action research oriented frameworks labelled as alternative forms of IR, an alternate perspective to positivistic validity and reliability issues and other practical considerations to facilitate the conducting of IR. Originality/value The novelty of this paper lies in the diminution of the fragmented nature of IR that undermines its scientific value through the identification of an intervention theory and IR framework experiencing extremely limited use in accounting and management research, with the exception of a crossdisciplinary (management accounting and information systems) doctoral study, optimising IR utilisation with greater degrees of validity and reliability and, finally, a proposed alternative research design for utilisation in IR.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-45
Number of pages33
JournalQualitative Research in Accounting & Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 13 Apr 2010


  • action research
  • research methods


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