Thirty years of Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal: A critical study of the journal’s most cited articles

John Dumay*, Charl de Villiers, James Guthrie, Pei-Chi Hsiao

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to analyse the highly cited articles published in Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal (AAAJ), since its inception, to answer three research questions: first, how have scholarly articles published in AAAJ developed? second, what are the focus areas and characteristics of articles in AAAJ, and who are the influential authors? third, who are the emerging next generation scholars and what are the emerging research themes in AAAJ?

Design/methodology/approach: A structured literature review (SLR) was used to analyse 126 most cited classic AAAJ articles and 21 additional emerging articles published between 1988 and 2016. Traditional literature reviews can have varied results because of a lack of rigour. The SLR method allows for an examination in detail of the articles, authors, focus areas and pattern of AAAJ publishing over three decades.

Findings: The findings show increased diversity in more recent years in theories, methods, origins, focus areas, and where AAAJ articles are cited, which highlights that the interdisciplinary accounting research project is maturing and remaining true to the ideal of being inclusive.

Research limitations/implications: Within this diversity, the analyses show that AAAJ remains focussed on and presents opportunities for impactful accounting research related to social issues, including non-financial corporate reporting/disclosure, public sector accounting, corporate governance and alternative forms of accounting, audit and accountability. Additionally, there is a need for more practice-based research to address the “wicked” problems at the intersection between accounting and society.

Originality/value: This paper presents accounting researchers with an opportunity to develop insightful and publishable studies. Also, it serves as a basis for developing future research agendas in the interdisciplinary accounting field.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1510-1541
Number of pages32
JournalAccounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018


  • AAAJ
  • Citations
  • Classic AAAJ papers
  • Structured literature review


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