Ladder of analytical abstraction: a constructive map for data analysis a case of voluntary reporting of human capital

Thumbnail Image
Open Access Location
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
CC BY-NC 4.0
Purpose: This study aims to demonstrate how Carney’s ladder of analytical abstraction is used to examine the motivations of banks for reporting human capital (HC) information. Design/methodology/approach: The authors use semi-structured interviews of senior bank employees at eight large New Zealand banks. They analyse the managers’ views using a constructive mapping of responses applying Carney’s ladder of analytical abstraction. The findings are interpreted from a stakeholder theory perspective. Findings: The authors find that the New Zealand banks report on HC to manage reputation, strengthen employee relationships and achieve competitive advantages. The results suggest that banks engage in opportunistic reporting to distract external stakeholders while advancing their interests. Research limitations/implications: The study will guide researchers in the use of Carney’s ladder of analytical abstraction in analysing qualitative data. Practical implications: This study provides insights for businesses to improve the consistency and quality of HC reporting and ensure that the information needs of broader stakeholder groups are met. Originality/value: Some previous voluntary reporting studies analyse their data using inductive analysis. The authors use Carney’s ladder of analytical abstraction as a framework to guide our inductive analysis.
Qualitative Research in Accounting and Management, 2023