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The impact of multiple institutional logics on professional identities of auditors

Siriviriyakul, Sudthasiri (2019) The impact of multiple institutional logics on professional identities of auditors. PhD thesis, University of York.

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This research explores the impact of multiple institutional logics (Thornton and Ocasio, 1999) or the macro-level values that guide appropriate behaviours in the auditing profession on individual auditors and their professional identities. Due to national deregulation, globalisation, and market competition, there has been an increase in commercialism and business focus in the auditing profession (Hanlon, 1996; Crittenden et al., 2003; Sikka, 2015; Guo, 2016). The study employed an interpretivist, qualitative approach with 27 semi-structured interviews and participant-produced drawings (Kearney and Hyle, 2004) of statutory, external auditors from small, medium, and big-four audit firms in the UK. The findings demonstrated the coexistence of three institutional logics including the technical, ethical, and commercial logics, highlighting tensions and complementarity of the multiple logics as experienced by individual auditors. This thesis argues that there are differences between the technical and ethical logics, traditionally combined under the umbrella of a professional logic in the current literature (Gendron, 2002). Participants negotiated tensions among multiple institutional logics by identifying with certain logic(s) and distancing from the other logic(s) or by compartmentalising their identification with different logics across time. Findings extend the understanding of how institutional logics may complement one another through presenting three types of complementarity including the facilitating, by-product, and stand-alone nature. Next, this research found that individual auditors constructed three forms of professional identities in relation to multiple institutional logics including a guardian of public interests, an advisor, and a value-added watchdog. Various forms of identity work were performed to construct, reconstruct, revise, and secure these identities. The main institutional logics shaping these identities were the ethical and/or commercial logics. Finally, this thesis also has a methodological contribution regarding the use of participant-produced drawing to conceptualise abstract ideas, stimulate further discussion, and understand institutional logics and identities of individuals at the microlevel.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Institutional logic, auditor, professional identity, accounting, visual method, drawing
Academic Units: The University of York > The York Management School
Depositing User: Miss Sudthasiri Siriviriyakul
Date Deposited: 22 May 2020 15:47
Last Modified: 22 May 2020 15:47
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/26529

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