There are two main purposes of a literature review: .
justify their study of Portuguese public sector accounting on the basis that European public sector accounting is less explored than that in the private sector, and particularly little is known about Portuguese double-entry bookkeeping.
It is important that your literature review is more than just a list of references with a short description of each one. Merriam (1988:6) describes the literature review as: Merriam’s statement was made in 1988, since which time there has been further extension of the concept of being ‘published’ within the academic context.
The term now encompasses a wide range of web-based sources, in addition to the more traditional books and print journals.
All literature reviews should be more than a mere description of the current state of knowledge of an area, and should critically evaluate the theoretical positions and research studies, drawing attention to major debates.
This is particularly true for a research dissertation or paper, which should go one step further by using the review to situate the author's own contribution to knowledge.one school stresses the importance of industry factors (Montgomery and Porter, 1991; Porter, 1980, 1985), while others stress firm-specific competences (Day and Nedungadi, 1994; Hamel and Prahalad, 1994a,b; Prahalad and Hamel, 1990; Sanchez ., 1996) and inimitable resources (Barney, 1991; Grant, 1991; Wernerfelt, 1984).Some schools urge firms to focus on developing their dynamic capabilities (Teece and Pisano, 1994) and higher-order learning processes (Dickson, 1996; Senge, 1990; Sinkula ., 1997), while others emphasize the value-creating potential of networks of relationships (Berry and Parasuraman, 1991; Grönroos, 1996; Gummesson, 1994; Morgan and Hunt, 1994; Sheth and Parvatiyar, 1995a,b; Varadarajan and Cunningham, 1995; Weitz and Jap, 1995; Wilson, 1995).The term ‘synthesis’ refers to the bringing together of material from different sources, and the creation of an integrated whole.In this case the ‘whole’ will be your structured review of relevant work, and your coherent argument for the study that you are doing.They will ask questions such as: These are questions that you will already probably be asking yourself.You will also need to be ready to answer them in a viva if you will be having one. are particularly relevant to the process of critical review.Your interpretation may be self-evident to you, but it may not be to everyone else.You need to critique your own interpretation of material, and to present your rationale, so that your reader can follow your thinking.The literature review has been described as a "report of primary scholarship" (Cooper, 1988) and "an interpretation and synthesis of published work" (Merriam, 1988, quoted by Murray, 2002).The two key words here are scholarship and synthesis: a literature review relates particular research to the a wider field.