Relevant interventionist research: Balancing three intellectual virtues

Kari Lukka*, Petri Suomala

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


This paper argues for a balanced approach to considering the three intellectual virtues of Aristotle, brought forth by Flyvbjerg [2001. Making Social Science Matter: Why Social Inquiry Fails and How It Can Succeed Again. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press]-techne, episteme and phronesis-and links them to recent debates on the relevance of management accounting research. The intellectual virtue of phronesis is viewed as opening an avenue for conducting management accounting research that is societally relevant and the interventionist research (IVR) approach is suggested to form one natural platform for such research. The paper underlines that the intellectual virtue of episteme, being related to theoretical relevance, is a necessary element in all scholarly endeavours and that IVR has so far tended to suffer from being too much focused on the intellectual virtue of techne and thereby practical relevance only. The method of engaged scholarship is offered as one fruitful option for balancing the three intellectual virtues and conducting research that is relevant to several dimensions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)204-220
Number of pages17
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • discursive logical argument
  • intellectual virtues
  • interventionist research
  • management accounting
  • phronesis
  • relevance


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