Whereof One Cannot Speak ... A Comment on Vollmer (2019)

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The purpose of this paper is to provide a conceptual reflection based on the author’s personal research experience, reading of the literature and contact with the academic education of emerging scholars.

In this reflection on the paper “Accounting for tacit coordination: The passing of accounts and the broader case for accounting theory” (Vollmer, 2019), the author argues that the silences of the qualitative empirical management accounting research process may preclude research from understanding the silences of accounting practitioners and shape the trajectory of the discipline as a whole.

The author presents a slightly exaggerated depiction of the qualitative empirical management accounting research process. From this, the author infers what impedes empirically studying unorthodox phenomena such as the silences of accounting practitioners.

The author offers a critical perspective on the author’s own research process, using accounting silences as way of reflecting on the potential and limitations of empirical research. Finally, the author makes tentative suggestions for opening up the standard research process.
Original languageEnglish
JournalQualitative Research in Accounting and Management
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jul 2022

Bibliographical note

Epub ahead of print. Published online: 5 July 2022.
Alternative title: Whereof one cannot speak horizontal ellipsis: A comment on Vollmer (2019)


  • Silence
  • Tactic coordination
  • Qualitative research methods
  • Methodology

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