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Introducing strong structuration theory for informing qualitative case studies in organization, management and accounting research

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Purpose – The aim of this paper is to present a reinforced version of structuration theory, known as strong structuration theory, set out in Stones as a disciplined approach to qualitative case study research in the organization, management and accounting fields. This framework challenges the belief held by certain critics that structuration theory cannot be used in substantive empirical research but is only a sensitising device or analytical tool. Design/methodology/approach – A conceptual discussion is the approach of the paper. Findings – The key concepts of strong structuration theory are outlined and then put in the context first of two attempts to apply the framework to empirical research and second of two recent papers which address theoretically informed qualitative research and the use of structuration theory in IT studies. Research limitations/implications – There are some limitations of this paper. The framework offered was not used to set the original research questions in the two case studies employed as these cases were conducted before the publication of Stones’ book in 2005. Also, as weaknesses in the framework can best be assessed using empirical findings, a full evaluation cannot be carried out until such research is undertaken. Originality/value – This paper draws on recent research and thinking in sociology that have yet to be brought into case studies in the fields of accounting and management in particular.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)208-235
Number of pages28
JournalQualitative Research in Organizations and Management: An International Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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