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The Audit Society: Rituals of Verification

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  • Power, Michael

    (London School of Economics)

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    Abstract

    Since the early 1980s there has been an explosion of auditing activity in the United Kingdom and North America. In addition to financial audits there are now medical audits, technology audits, value for money audits, environmental audits, quality audits, teaching audits, and many others. Why has this happened? What does it mean when a society invests so heavily in an industry of checking and when more and more individuals find themselves subject to formal scrutiny? The Audit Society argues that the rise of auditing has its roots in political demands for accountability and control. At the heart of a new administrative style internal control systems have begun to play an important public role and individual and organizational performance has been increasingly formalized and made auditable. Michael Power argues that the new demands and expectations of audits live uneasily with their operational capabilities. Not only is the manner in which they produce assurance and accountability open to question but also, by imposing their own values, audits often have unintended and dysfunctional consequences for the audited organization.

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    Bibliographic Info

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    This book is provided by Oxford University Press in its series OUP Catalogue with number 9780198296034 and published in 1999.

    ISBN: 9780198296034
    Order: http://ukcatalogue.oup.com/product/9780198296034.do
    Handle: RePEc:oxp:obooks:9780198296034

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    Web page: http://www.oup.com/

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    Cited by:
    1. Sikka, Prem, 2009. "Financial crisis and the silence of the auditors," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 34(6-7), pages 868-873, August.
    2. Power, Michael K., 2003. "Auditing and the production of legitimacy," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 379-394, May.
    3. Pentland, Brian T., 2000. "Will auditors take over the world? Program, technique and the verification of everything," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 307-312, April.
    4. Mennicken, Andrea, 2008. "Connecting worlds: The translation of international auditing standards into post-Soviet audit practice," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 33(4-5), pages 384-414.
    5. Susan V. Scott & Geoff Walsham, 2004. "The broadening spectrum of reputation risk in organizations: banking on risk and trust relationships," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 33900, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    6. Richard, Chrystelle & Cerutti, Fabien, 2008. "Qualité de l’audit et Satisfaction de l’audité : Chronique d’une Innovation Ordinaire," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/3505, Paris Dauphine University.
    7. Davison, Jane, 2010. "[In]visible [in]tangibles: Visual portraits of the business élite," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 165-183, February.
    8. Andrea Mennicken, 2008. "Connecting worlds: the translation of international auditing standards into post-Soviet audit practice," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 27070, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    9. Shyam Sunder & Karim Jamal, 2006. "Regulation, Competition and Independence in a Certification Society: Financial Reports Vs. Baseball Cards," Yale School of Management Working Papers amz2578, Yale School of Management, revised 01 Jun 2007.
    10. Nicolas Berland & Benjamin Dreveton, 2012. "Mesurer la performance des chercheurs, au risque de la bureaucratie," Post-Print halshs-00844168, HAL.
    11. Nolas, Sevasti-Melissa, 2011. "Reflections on the enactment of children's participation rights through research: Between transactional and relational spaces," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(7), pages 1196-1202, July.
    12. Vollmer, Hendrik & Mennicken, Andrea & Preda, Alex, 2009. "Tracking the numbers: Across accounting and finance, organizations and markets," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 34(5), pages 619-637, July.
    13. Talbot, David & Boiral, Olivier, 2013. "Can we trust corporates GHG inventories? An investigation among Canada's large final emitters," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 1075-1085.
    14. O'Dwyer, Brendan & Owen, David & Unerman, Jeffrey, 2011. "Seeking legitimacy for new assurance forms: The case of assurance on sustainability reporting," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 31-52, January.
    15. Tullberg, Jan, 2013. "Stakeholder theory: Some revisionist suggestions," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 127-135.
    16. Petrakaki, Dimitra & Barber, Nick & Waring, Justin, 2012. "The possibilities of technology in shaping healthcare professionals: (Re/De-)Professionalisation of pharmacists in England," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 429-437.
    17. Stephen Tully, 2004. "Access to justice within the sustainable self-governance model," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 36056, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.

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