IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Public sector auditor identities in making efficiency auditable: The National Audit Office of Denmark as independent auditor and modernizer

  • Skærbæk, Peter
Registered author(s):

    This paper examines how the National Audit Office of Denmark (NAOD) manoeuvred in making the Danish military receptive to a performance-accountability project in the period 1990-2007. Evidence is provided from a detailed case study, where the actions of the auditors have been followed in their efforts to make the military activities auditable by focusing on the multiple and dynamic interactions between them, the auditee and others. This study contributes to our understanding of how auditors manoeuvre with their performance audit devices in different ways to make efficiency auditable. It appears that as the auditee initiated the implementation of a new accounting system called DeMars a stream of overflows threatened to destabilise it. Groups within the auditee were eager to put heat into the overflowing. This study illuminates how the auditors, equipped with their devices of purification in the later stages of the project, helped at least provisionally to contain the overflows and stabilize the construction. Due to such different manoeuvres by the auditors, this paper demonstrates the problems that emerge when state auditors manoeuvre in performance auditing with identities both as 'modernizers', i.e., participating in providing the reasons for change and defining its designs and as 'independent auditors', i.e., to legitimize the construction in which they participated themselves. Many allies to the auditors worked hard in protecting the NAOD as the two identities conflicted with each other during the execution of the project.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6VCK-4VP12D2-2/2/b73f3d47fdcaaee536d5676c32c04703
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Accounting, Organizations and Society.

    Volume (Year): 34 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 8 (November)
    Pages: 971-987

    as
    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:eee:aosoci:v:34:y:2009:i:8:p:971-987
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/aos

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    as in new window
    1. Gendron, Yves & Cooper, David J. & Townley, Barbara, 2007. "The construction of auditing expertise in measuring government performance," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 32(1-2), pages 101-129.
    2. Power, Michael, 1996. "Making things auditable," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 21(2-3), pages 289-315.
    3. Empson, Laura, 2004. "Organizational identity change: managerial regulation and member identification in an accounting firm acquisition," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 29(8), pages 759-781, November.
    4. Radcliffe, Vaughan S., 1999. "Knowing efficiency: the enactment of efficiency in efficiency auditing," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 333-362, May.
    5. Chua, Wai Fong, 2007. "Accounting, measuring, reporting and strategizing - Re-using verbs: A review essay," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 32(4-5), pages 487-494.
    6. Thomas Ahrens & Christopher Chapman, 2000. "Occupational identity of management accountants in Britain and Germany," European Accounting Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(4), pages 477-498.
    7. Burchell, Stuart & Clubb, Colin & Hopwood, Anthony & Hughes, John & Nahapiet, Janine, 1980. "The roles of accounting in organizations and society," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 5-27, January.
    8. Pentland, Brian T., 1993. "Getting comfortable with the numbers: Auditing and the micro-production of macro-order," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 18(7-8), pages 605-620.
    9. Robson, Keith & Humphrey, Christopher & Khalifa, Rihab & Jones, Julian, 2007. "Transforming audit technologies: Business risk audit methodologies and the audit field," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 32(4-5), pages 409-438.
    10. Power, Michael K., 2003. "Auditing and the production of legitimacy," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 379-394, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:aosoci:v:34:y:2009:i:8:p:971-987. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.