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Spirituality, happiness and auditors' commitment: an interbeing perspective

Sujoko Efferin (Faculty of Business and Economics, Universitas Surabaya, Surabaya, Indonesia)
Christopher Christian Hutomo (Faculty of Business and Economics, Universitas Surabaya, Surabaya, Indonesia)

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal

ISSN: 0951-3574

Article publication date: 9 February 2021

Issue publication date: 1 June 2021




This study attempts to explore the meaning and implication of spirituality in an accounting firm by using a Buddhist perspective of interbeing. It explains how the happiness of individuals (auditors, partners, clients and auditor family members); organisational performance and growth and auditors' commitment are interconnected and impermanent.


This study employed an interpretive case study in an Indonesian accounting firm. The researchers explored the collective and individual feelings, thoughts, actions and experiences of the firm's actors. The data collection methods were interviews, participant observations and documentary analysis.


Leadership plays a major role in cultivating spirituality in an accounting firm. The spirituality increases auditors' commitment, (conditional) happiness and performance resulting in client satisfaction and the firm's growth. From an interbeing perspective, partners, auditors and clients are interconnected and impermanent. A firm's growth creates a growing sense of unhappiness due to the diminishing of auditors' comfort zone. Spirituality in the workplace can only engender conditional happiness and organisational commitment that offset the importance of material rewards and career prospects. To reach ultimate (unconditional) happiness, one requires a continuous spiritual development.

Research limitations/implications

The insights gained from this study need enrichment from cases in different contexts, e.g. multinational firms with members from different countries and cultures.


This study develops the discourse of emancipation in the accounting literature by taking into account spirituality and happiness.



Efferin, S. and Hutomo, C.C. (2021), "Spirituality, happiness and auditors' commitment: an interbeing perspective", Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Vol. 34 No. 4, pp. 701-730.



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