A Look Beyond Structuration Theory’ Criticism: A Methodological Proposal


  • Tassiani Aparecida Santos University of São Paulo
  • Flaviano Costa Universidade Federal do Paraná




Contabilidade Gerencial, teoria da estruturação, teoria da estruturação forte, proposta metodológica.


Several limitations were pointed out by the accounting community to Structuration Theory (ST). It became evident that accounting researchers have not found a suitable methodological model for the application of ST yet. Therefore, the results of their researches and the development of the theoretical body of knowledge have become marginal. In this context, other structuration approaches emerged such as the Strong Structuration Theory, which proposes a new ontology and a possible methodological model to fill the gap present in the application of ST. Thus, we assure that there are ontological divergences between SST and ST. The same attempt of methodological approximation performed by Stones (2005) in SST can be made in ST, within its ontological assumptions. This essay aimed to reach beyond the criticism of Structuration Theory. In doing so, it developed a methodological proposal to be adapted by the accounting researchers in the application of ST in empirical studies. The methodological development presented a design based on the strategic analysis of Giddens; and also followed the line of conceptualization of accounting as a social system, allowing amplitude to social studies and emphasizing the concept of duality of structure, when dealing with structure and agency in an inseparable way. Thus, this essay does not advocate a single methodological approach, but rather indicates a broad structure and, through the discussions and debates of the academy, must undergo theoretical developments and contributions towards increasing the possibilities involved in application of ST in accounting. This proposal contributed in particular to the lack of critical articles that developed or revised the original ideas of Giddens and, in presenting a methodological model for the conceptualization of the research object, with data collection and analysis of the results.


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ESPECIAL: Qualitative, Critical and Interpretive Accounting Studies