As accounting practitioners, educators, researchers, and/or standard-setters, we devote much time and attention to develop the skills to perform our roles effectively. Paying close attention to the ways in which we frame our tasks and the tools that we use can contribute to our effectiveness. I believe that our most incorrect belief is that these framings, or what I refer to as metaphors in use, are inconsequential and, therefore, can be ignored. In the sections that follow, I highlight the pervasiveness of metaphors and the limits that a lack of awareness of metaphor place upon us. Specifically, I describe the significance of metaphors for accounting practice and research.1 This description is followed by a discussion of the benefits of metaphor to our research efforts and of the issues and problems that may arise if we fail to examine our metaphors in use.

Metaphors, specifically conceptual metaphors, encompass the...

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