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From profession to product: Commodication of the Swedish audit profession 1989-2010
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, School of Social Sciences. (Forum för professionsstudier)
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Business, Economics and Design, Linnaeus School of Business and Economics. (Forum för Professionsforskning)
2012 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

During the last three decades auditing has increasing been viewed as a commercial activities. The Big4 accounting firms are some of the largest consultant firms in the world, highly profitable and with increasing market shares. Tasks that earlier has been defined as professional services has increasingly became commoditized and marketed as other goods.

From the perspective of theory on profession the process of developing professional knowledge into marketable goods and it influence on the legitimacy of the profession is important issues.

 

This paper presents a study of how the professional association of Swedish auditors has presented this development and attempted to legitimacy it in the eyes of the profession and the general public in the association’s magazine between the years of 1989-2010. Building on Abbotts (1991) discussion on different forms of expertise knowledge and Suddaby and Greenwood (2001) discussion of commodification and commercialization of professional knowledge we discern four areas utilized by the Swedish audit profession for presenting and legitimizing commodification of the audit function: (1) attributes connected to the professional role of an auditors increasingly become depersonalized (2) the knowledge of the auditing processes become externalized and standardized in different audit standards (32) the development of so-called Multidisciplinary Practices implies an increasing product range in audit firms implying a less salient role for auditing within these firma (4) a transferring of this commodification from the large accounting firms to smaller audit firms through a translation of the professional association of “auditing” into a number different services (product differentiation). The contribution of the paper is to describe and theorize how a commodification of a profession is diffused and how commercial and professional forces co-operation in such transformation of the audit profession

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012.
Keyword [en]
Auditors, profession, commodification, professional development
National Category
Economics and Business
Research subject
Economy, Business administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-22983OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-22983DiVA: diva2:577321
Conference
ESA-biannual conference, Ipswhich
Projects
Från frithet under ansvar till ansvar under insyn
Funder
Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare
Available from: 2012-12-15 Created: 2012-12-15 Last updated: 2015-04-14Bibliographically approved

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Agevall, LenaJonnergård, Karin

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf