Blurred Roles and Elusive Boundaries: On Contemporary Forms of Oversight Surrounding Professional Work

Mouna Hazgui, Yves Gendron (2015) Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Vol. 28 Iss: 8, pp.1234-1262

35 Pages Posted: 3 Feb 2016 Last revised: 29 Oct 2019

See all articles by Mouna Hazgui

Mouna Hazgui

HEC Montreal - Department of Accounting Studies

Yves Gendron

Université Laval

Date Written: 2015

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to extend research on contemporary forms of oversight surrounding professional work in an era characterized by increased skepticism regarding professional claims and the rise of independent regulatory authorities. The authors investigate the interplay between key actors as well as the shifting role boundaries in a distinct regulatory space, following the introduction of a new public oversight framework.

Design/methodology/approach – The analysis draws on the notions of regulatory space and boundary work to better understand the development of independent audit oversight in France. The authors adopted an interpretive approach to conduct a longitudinal case study based on 33 interviews and documentary data produced from 2003 to 2012.

Findings – The study provides a narrative of the boundary work carried out by the French audit profession as it tried to reinvent its role in the new regulatory order. In the case, boundary work engendered a hybrid regulatory pattern, named “co-regulation,” reflecting both the logic of independent regulation and the logic of self-regulation. The main consequence of this is that zones of mutual involvement were constructed – thereby suggesting that to become a reality, independent oversight of professional work needs to accept some operational dependence from professionals.

Originality/value – The study illustrates the elusiveness of boundaries surrounding actors’ role within contemporary forms of professional regulation. More generally, hybrid development suggests that professions are proactive and, to some extent, successful when it comes to developing alliances and manipulating changes within their regulatory space.

Keywords: Professional associations, Accounting and auditing regulation, Boundary work, Independent oversight, Professional regulation, Regulatory space

Suggested Citation

Hazgui, Mouna and Gendron, Yves, Blurred Roles and Elusive Boundaries: On Contemporary Forms of Oversight Surrounding Professional Work (2015). Mouna Hazgui, Yves Gendron (2015) Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Vol. 28 Iss: 8, pp.1234-1262, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2726772

Mouna Hazgui (Contact Author)

HEC Montreal - Department of Accounting Studies ( email )

3000, Chemin de la Côte-Sainte-Catherine
Montreal H3T 2A7, Quebec
Canada

Yves Gendron

Université Laval ( email )

Faculte des sciences de l'administration
2325 rue de la Terrasse, Local 2636
Quebec City, Quebec G1V 0A6
Canada
418-656-2131 ext. 2431 (Phone)
418-656-7746 (Fax)

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