This paper has been written following the refusal of US Big Six firms to participate in a context‐based research project on the new‐client‐acceptance decision, in spite of their claims that current audit research is too far removed from the realities of practice. The paper aims to problematise the firms’ refusal, arguing that it exemplifies efforts at policing the development of academic knowledge on the part of gatekeepers who strive to make researchers work on technicalities, thereby mitigating the risk that research may tarnish the profession’s legitimacy. Insights into the social construction of the gatekeepers’ efforts at policing knowledge are provided by the multilateral negotiations with the firms, showing initial differences in gatekeepers’ boundaries of acceptable research, and subsequent between‐firm discussions that resulted in the firms’ joint decision to refuse participation.
Gendron, Y. (2000), "Openness to context‐based research: the gulf between the claims and actions of Big Six firms in the USA", Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Vol. 13 No. 2, pp. 175-196. https://doi.org/10.1108/09513570010323335
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