Publication Details

Kurtovic, A. & Cooper, K. A. (2005). Puzzles and serendipity. Women in Research Conference Queensland, 24-25 November 2005: Central Queensland University.


Looking back on past research experience it would seem that at times, whenfaced with unforseen challenges, the journey chpsen seems as though the appearance of the light at the end ofthe tunnel is nothing more than a mirage, provoked by a researcher's own biased belief that there is a story to be told. When this mirage becomes a reality, it is usually at that point that we take the glory ofbreakthrough awayfrom ourselves and resolve that the find was a coincidence, a chance, a sheer stroke ofresearchers luck, or was it? What I found interesting was that on both occasions when such a breakthrough was experienced the informationfound was invaluable. In both cases professional bodies would turn to the power ofdiscourse to obscure individuals and or groups that had any contradictory thoughts to their own, regardless of the possible merits. The following paper willfocus on two such research events experienced by the authors. It will be argued, in both cases, that discovery ofpreviously unknown or little known facts were more a case of serendipity than fortuitousness. The first research journey will deal with a study of Australian women in accounting revealing evidence suggesting that the first women admitted to one of the antecedent bodies of peakprofessional accounting association was an Australian. The second research journey will address the findings ofan archival study ofthe standard setting process in Australia, demonstrating the silencing ofthe views of a prominent and outspoken Australian academic.