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The Role of Trust in Accounting Research

By Jan Marton, Kristina Johansson, Inga-Lill Johansson, Andreas Hagberg and Gudrun Baldvinsdottir


The purpose of this paper is to present a review of the knowledge about the trust concept and its application within the accounting research context. This is done by examining the different ontological and epistemological assumptions that accounting research are based on, by relating these assumptions to various conceptions of trust used in accounting research, and by revealing the explicit and implicit role that is given to trust in accounting research. The review is based on articles published between 1995 and 2002 in eleven influential accounting journals. The results show that few accounting articles are explicitly related to trust. Our review supports observations regarding the absence of empirical research made in previous research. Our classification of epistemological and ontological assumptions resulted in an even distribution between the mainstream and alternative approaches. The use of trust in the selected articles showed four different types reflecting an increasing role of trust in explaining accounting phenomena. To summarise, our review produces a dissociated impression of the role of trust in accounting research

Topics: Business studies
Year: 2003
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