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Content analysis in accounting research : the practical challenges
journal contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 authored by Natasja SteenkampNatasja Steenkamp, D Northcott
Drawing on a pilot study of voluntary intellectual capital reporting in New Zealand companies’ annual reports, this paper illustrates and discusses the practical challenges of using content analysis as a research method and considers how they might be managed. Reflections are offered on the choice of appropriate recording units, counting repetitive messages, making subjective judgments as to the meaning and categorisation of texts, and the need to explain how texts are handled and how inferences and meanings are identified when using content analysis for accounting research.