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Special Issue Call for Papers - Interpretive Research in Management Disciplines in the MENA Region

Special issue call for papers from Journal of Economic and Administrative Sciences

Guest editors:
Dr. Larissa von Alberti-Alhtaybat, King Abdulaziz University, Saudi Arabia
Dr. Mohammad Khawaji, King Abdulaziz University, Saudi Arabia
Dr. Khaldoon Al-Htaybat, King Abdulaziz University, Saudi Arabia

About the special issue:

The value and contribution of interpretive research in management has been shaping up. As the business environment is getting more sophisticated, the interaction between strategy, products, policies, information systems, customers and other related issues is too complex in today’s dynamic market to be captured from a distance. The question that has been asked is: ‘do we really “understand the stakeholders of the present day?!’ (Ahrens et al. 2008). Therefore, an alternative research approach (interpretive) is certainly needed (Scapens, 2005), as organizations should be studied as social settings, in the belief of realities being socially structured. Subjects, such as strategy, accounting, policies, and individuals form certain realities as they interact (Chua, 1986). Researchers, therefore, seek to interpret how these subjects take certain meanings, and relate to each other within a specific space and time (Ahrens and Chapman, 2007).

Considering the debate in Western countries, we argue that studies that allow us to understand the social and socially constructed reality we are part of within the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region are urgently needed. Concepts such as culture, power, trust, authority, efficiency…etc.  might have different meanings and impact on how business is run in such region. Understanding our realities, we argue, would help to improve our practice of business, internationalization of it and also our teaching and research in Higher Education. 

Only few interpretive studies were undertaken by researchers based in the MENA region or that are focussed on the MENA region, and this call for paper seeks to encourage such studies further across business disciplines, focussing on the MENA region or undertaken by researchers based in the MENA region. In addition to providing a platform for interpretive researchers to share their studies, this call for paper seeks to establish interpretive studies as a realistic alternative to positivist studies in the MENA region. Papers can be theoretical, conceptual or empirical within the realm of interpretive studies, for instance engaging with particular theories related to interpretive research, illustrating the use of interpretive research methodologies conceptually, or undertaking an empirical, interpretive study. All areas of management are welcome to submit papers, such as economics, accounting, finance, human resources, marketing, etc.

Thus, contributions are welcomed including, but not limited to, the following:

•    Pre-existing theories, for instance Latour’s actor-network-theory, Bourdieu’s theory of practice, Stones’ strong structuration theory, institutional logics, to name but a few, can be used as lenses through which interpretivists approach research matters (Baxter and Chua, 2003).
•    In the same vein, interpretive studies employ specific methodologies and methods that reflect the principles that reality is construction of social subjects, thus allowing them to express their points of view and share their experiences and perceptions. Examples for such methodologies are ethnographic, grounded theory, and case studies, to name a few, and related data collection methods are documents review, interviews and observation amongst others (Johnson, et al., 2006).


•    Papers addressing how interpretive research methodology enhances our understanding and may contribute towards the development of theory.
•    Papers critiquing and refining the use of interpretive research methodology in business research.
•    Papers which present research design, interpretation, and critical evaluation through substantive empirical work, drawing on interpretive research methodology.
•    Papers can be theoretical, conceptual, empirical or methodological in nature.
•    Papers engaging with a particular pre-existing theory in relation to interpretive research in the MENA region.

Submission details
•    31 August 2018 Submission Deadline. All papers must be submitted by the deadline through the journal's Scholar One system at: In submitting their papers, authors are asked to follow the journal guidelines. when submitting your paper, please choose the relevant special issue title.

For queries, please contact the correpsonding Guest Editor, Larissa von Alberti-Alhtaybat at [email protected]


Ahrens, T., A. Becker, J. Burns, C. S. Chapman, M. Granlund, M. Habersam, A. Hansen, R. Khalifa, T. Malmi, A. Mennicken, A. Mikes, F. Panozzo, M. Piber, P. Quattrone, and T. Scheytt. 2008. The future of interpretive accounting research - A polyphonic debate. Critical Perspectives on Accounting, vol. 19, issue 6, pp. 840-866.

Ahrens, T. and Chapman, C. (2007). Management accounting as practice, Accounting, Organizations and Society, Vol. 32, pp. 1- 27

Baxter J;Chua WF, 2003, 'Alternative management accounting research - Whence and whither', Accounting, Organizations and Society, vol. 28, pp. 97 - 126

Chua, W.F. (1986), Radical developments in accounting thought, The Accounting Review, Vol. 61, No. 4, pp. 601- 632

Johnson, Phil, et al. "Evaluating qualitative management research: Towards a contingent criteriology." International Journal of Management Reviews 8.3 (2006): 131-156.

Scapens, R. (2005) "Reactions on reading “The withering of criticism”;", Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Vol. 18 Issue: 1, pp.147-149