Because the practice of accounting and the use of accounting information are complex and multifaceted, a wide variety of research approaches provide an understanding of accounting. These approaches are primarily in the social sciences, but also in mathematics and some of the humanities, such as history and philosophy. The purpose of this course is to examine some of the fundamental ideas and concepts underlying the research process in accounting. It focuses on the philosophy of the social sciences, since they provide the core of theory and methods for accounting research. Topics include the objectives of social science research; the nature and role of theories; the relationship between facts and values; theory construction, testing, falsification and inference; positivist vs. non-positivist methods; social studies of science and scientists; and research ethics (including research involving human subjects). The emphasis is on the scientific method broadly construed and applied, rather than on specific techniques. Open to all doctoral students or with written permission of the instructor. Approval of the Business PhD Program Director is also required for non-PhD students.