The objective of this study is to contribute to the debate on the future development of the accounting discipline in Italy. Italian scholars are called upon to make an important choice: preserving and improving the methodologies and methods of our research tradition, or adopting international research approaches. The Italian mechanisms for public research evaluation, particularly the mechanisms operating from 2003, led to strong pressure for the second option, which is thought to best fit good science. In fact, the application of patterns "taken from hard sciences" to social issues makes the international approaches anything but good science. By adopting concepts from the philosophy of science, and by taking the branch of management accounting and control as an example, this study attempts to show that the difference in scientific relevance between the Italian research tradition and international research guidelines is only superficial. In accounting, both the Italian research tradition and international research guidelines bring several criticalities, above all a perceived lack of practical use by recipients. The final hope is to identify an original "third way" for accounting research in Italy by making the most of the current challenges.
Keywords: Accounting studies, Research methodology, Management Accounting, Management Control.