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Developments in content analysis: a transitivity index and scores

Sydserff, Robin and Weetman, Pauline (2002) Developments in content analysis: a transitivity index and scores. Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, 15 (4). pp. 523-545. ISSN 0951-3574

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Abstract

This paper responds to a call in the literature for methodological and empirical studies to advance research into accounting narratives, in the light of acknowledged areas of weakness and gaps in the accounting literature and with a view to investigating impression management. A general line of critique in the accounting literature points to a need to expand both the syntactic and thematic dimensions, with a particular focus on developing objective methods of analysis that allow computer-based measurement. The paper draws on the literature of managerial business communications, supported by that of applied linguistics, in bringing to accounting research a transitivity index and the application of DICTION analysis. Both have the potential to extend computer-based analysis of accounting narratives, subject to careful initial research design and specification. The potential for a richer empirical analysis is demonstrated through an illustrative empirical application.