Revisiting Narratives: Searching for Definition and Uses in Accounting


  • Olivia Maurício Dornelles
  • Fernanda Filgueiras Sauerbronn



Narrativas, Histórias, Contabilidade, Relatórios da Administração


Narratives are texts that report events in a chronological order, with beginning, middle and end, so that the relation of cause and effect between the facts is perceived. They differ from description, deduction and poetry, because they present a problem and its resolution, and this is what is narrated. In the Social Sciences, in the 1990s, there was a revival of the study of narratives – narrative turn – valuing the way in which facts are counted, beyond the content of what is said. The presence of the researcher also came to be valued, moving away the assumption of impersonality. This essay aimed to revisit the definitions and uses of narrative analysis, with emphasis on the study of literature in the accounting area, contributing to its advancement in Brazil. Two ways of considering the narratives were proposed: both as a way of analyzing different types of texts and as a way of writing the research reports or obtaining the data. In narrative analysis, the text is considered as a whole; no segmentation of the parts, such as in content analysis, is done. In Accounting, most of the articles surveyed used as narrative analysis object the management reports and the letters of the managers that accompany the financial statements. The use of narratives adds another type of understanding of the financial reports, going beyond of quantitative analyzes commonly employed.


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ESPECIAL: Qualitative, Critical and Interpretive Accounting Studies