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Risk Management: The Reinvention of Internal Control and the Changing Role of Internal Audit

37 Pages Posted: 5 Jan 2004  

Laura F. Spira

Oxford Brookes University - Business School

Michael Page

Portsmouth Business School


The publication of the Turnbull guidance represented a radical redefinition of the nature of internal control as a feature of corporate governance in the UK, explicitly aligning internal control with risk management. This paper explores this change, using sociological perspectives on risk and its conceptualisation to frame the debate about internal control and risk management within the UK corporate governance arena - the most recent manifestation of an ongoing competition for the control of economic and social resources. The paper demonstrates that developments in corporate governance reporting requirements offer opportunities for the appropriation of risk and its management by groups wishing to advance their own interests. This is illustrated by a review of recent changes in internal audit.

Keywords: Risk management, Internal control, Internal auditing, Corporate governance, United Kingdom

JEL Classification: G34, M41, M45, M49

Suggested Citation

Spira, Laura F. and Page, Michael, Risk Management: The Reinvention of Internal Control and the Changing Role of Internal Audit. Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, Vol. 16, No. 4, pp. 640-661, 2003. Available at SSRN:

Laura F. Spira (Contact Author)

Oxford Brookes University - Business School ( email )

Oxford, OX33 1HX
United Kingdom

Michael James Page

Portsmouth Business School ( email )

Richmond Building
Portland Street
Portsmouth, PO1 3DEJF
United Kingdom
(+44) 02392 844 148 (Phone)
(+44) 02392 844 037 (Fax)

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