Reflections on interdisciplinary accounting research: The state of the art of intellectual capital

John Dumay*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to offer reflections and critique not only on the current state of the art for intellectual capital research (ICR) from an interdisciplinary accounting research (IAR) perspective, but also its future directions.

Research limitations/implications – The author argues that researchers need to go back to the methodological drawing board when designing IAR so future research can achieve its full potential. To do so researchers also need their research to be transformational to engender change, and to be transdisciplinary, which encompasses research beyond the current boundaries of accounting and management.

Design/methodology/approach – This paper offers a critical reflection based on the author’s observations as an IC researcher, reviewer and editor. The author also supports the arguments with some evidence from the research about IC research.

Findings – The author argues that most ICR is falling short of achieving “the most advanced level of knowledge and technology” of the art because it inherits flaws from prior research, thus threatening its legitimacy and impact.

Originality/value – The author identifies and introduces three research shortcuts that prevent ICR projects from being state of the art being copycat, Furphy and technophobic research which provide insights into why not all ICR research is not “state of the art”.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1257-1264
Number of pages8
JournalAccounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2 Oct 2014


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