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How do expatriates and local professionals work in auditing firms? A Weberian analysis of perseverance and adjustment in the Saudi Arabian workplace

Almalki, Abdullah (2021) How do expatriates and local professionals work in auditing firms? A Weberian analysis of perseverance and adjustment in the Saudi Arabian workplace. PhD thesis, University of Essex.

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Abstract

This study examines expatriates and local professionals work in auditing firms in a traditional society (Saudi Arabia). Previous studies have concentrated on the functionalist perspective in professional development such as how auditors become professionals whilst ignoring other factors such as cultural and societal influences and the interaction of professionals within workplaces. In addition, the studies overlooked the micro-level in auditing sector in developing countries. These gaps motivated the exploration of professionalism in auditing firms in Saudi Arabia, drawing upon the Weberian framework of accounting to analyse multiple levels of the auditing sector. In addition, the Theory of Work Adjustment (TWA) is employed to analyse professionals’ perseverance in adjusting to their work environments at the firm-level. A qualitative research design is adopted with data collected through semi-structured interviews with 37 participants from auditing firms, the Ministry of Human Resource and Saudi Organization for Certified Public Accountants (SOCPA). The data are analysed using thematic analysis. Although expatriate professionals are sought by auditing firms for their expertise and exercise of audit judgments, their continued role and influence is heavily mediated by their hierarchical relationship with the audit firm owners/managers. They are compelled to obey to the ultimate ends of the owners/managers of auditing firms. This role is based on a substantive rational requirement rather than formal rational requirements, thereby enhancing the dominance of owners/managers on labour market. Micro-level analysis confirms that expatriates were more persevered to adjust to work environment requirements than local professionals. Consequently, the localisation agenda implementation has been delayed. The current study contributes to the literature of auditing profession development in developing countries as well as job localisation in the auditing sector. Tension analysis of macro- and micro-levels with professionals' perseverance analysis provides further knowledge of the Weberian framework with TWA about rationalities, domination, resistance and perseverance.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5601 Accounting
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Essex Business School
Depositing User: Abdullah Almalki
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2021 14:23
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2021 14:23
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/31236

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