Brierley, John A. and Cowton, Christopher J. (2000) Putting meta-analysis to work: accountants' organizational-professional conflict. Journal of Business Ethics, 24 (4). pp. 343-353. ISSN 0167-4544

Commentators on empirical research in business ethics have recommended that use should be made of meta-analysis - the quantitative analysis of a group of research studies. This paper elaborates upon those recommendations by conducting, as a 'case study' for further reflection, a meta-analysis of studies of accountants' organizational-professional conflict (OPC) previously published in accounting and psychology journals. Of five variables capable of analysis, only the population correlation coefficient between OPC and organizational tenure is identified. It was not possible to find the population correlation coefficient of the other four variables, for which several possible reasons are suggested. The paper then shows how meta-analysis can make a valuable contribution, even when the substantive findings are limited, by providing guidance for future research and a safeguard against the drawing of unjustified conclusions, to which the more usual narrative reviews of literature are prone.

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