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Article
Publication date: 2 September 2021

Hanna Silvola and Eija Vinnari

The purpose of this paper is to enrich extant understanding of the role of both agency and context in the uptake of sustainability assurance. To this end, the authors…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to enrich extant understanding of the role of both agency and context in the uptake of sustainability assurance. To this end, the authors examine auditors' attempts to promote sustainability assurance and establish it as a practice requiring the professional involvement of auditors.

Design/methodology/approach

Applying institutional work (Lawrence and Suddaby, 2006) and institutional logics (Thornton, 2002; Thornton et al., 2012) as the method theories, the authors examine interview data and a variety of documentary evidence collected in Finland, a small society characterized by social and environmental values, beliefs in functioning institutions and public trust in companies behaving responsibly.

Findings

With this study, the authors make two main contributions to extant literature. First, the authors illustrate the limits that society-level logics related to corporate social responsibility, together with the undermining or rejected institutional work of other agents, place especially on the political and cultural work undertaken by auditors. Second, the study responds to Power's (2003) call for country-specific studies by exploring a rather unique context, Finland, where societal trust in companies is arguably stronger than in many other countries and this trust appears to affect how actors perceive the need for sustainability assurance.

Originality/value

This is one of the few accounting studies that combines institutional logics and institutional work to study the uptake of a management fashion, in this case sustainability assurance.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 34 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 22 February 2021

Hyungshin Park

This paper aims to examine whether investors perceive the adoption of Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) Rule 3211, which mandates disclosure of the…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine whether investors perceive the adoption of Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) Rule 3211, which mandates disclosure of the identity of audit engagement partners for the US-listed companies, as providing net benefits to the companies.

Design/methodology/approach

This study identifies 33 events leading up to the adoption of the PCAOB rule and examines the market reaction around these events.

Findings

The author finds positive abnormal market-wide returns in response to events that increase the likelihood of adopting the mandate. These positive returns are relatively stronger among companies with higher audit risk and companies with high-quality auditors.

Practical implications

The results of this study indicate that market participants expect that the overall benefits from the audit engagement partner disclosure rule outweigh the associated costs for average firms and in particular for firms with high audit risk and high-quality auditors.

Originality/value

Prior studies document mixed evidence on the net effects of PCAOB Rule 3211 on audit quality and audit fees, potentially because of the short post-rule adoption period and the weak effect of the rule on audit quality and audit fees during the transition period. The author complements these studies by providing the first evidence on the way that the stock market reacts to events that change the likelihood of the adoption of the audit engagement partner disclosure mandate.

Details

Managerial Auditing Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-6902

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2021

Martina Jordaan and Nita Mennega

The purpose of this empirical research paper is to investigate the self-perceived role of the community partner of a higher education service-learning and community…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this empirical research paper is to investigate the self-perceived role of the community partner of a higher education service-learning and community engagement module.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative approach was followed by distributing a questionnaire to the community partners of a community engagement module and coding the responses using ATLAS.ti. A total of 36 responses were received from community partners who work with students enrolled in a compulsory undergraduate community-based project module at the University of Pretoria's Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology.

Findings

The community partners share a common interest in the students' education. They are experts in their fields and can share their knowledge with the students and the university. Through these partnerships, long-term reciprocal relationships can develop. Community partners can become co-educators and partners in education. The pragmatist representations of community partners can be challenged when they understand their own stakes in service-learning or community engagement projects. This better aids higher education institutes in the management and evaluation of service-learning and community engagement pedagogies and curricula.

Research limitations/implications

Two main limitations underlie this study. Firstly, this research is based on data from one community module at a single university. Although a large number of students are registered in the module, the study would be improved by conducting it at more than one university countrywide. Secondly, the study was performed during the first coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) lockdown the country experienced. This was a completely unexpected event for which everyone was totally unprepared. Many of the community partners lacked the resources to receive or respond to an online questionnaire. The nature of the lockdown prevented the researchers from reaching these community partners for a face-to-face interview. The voice of these community partners is, therefore, silent.

Practical implications

The community partners reiterated their need to be seen as equal partners in the module and appreciated being part of a group of non-profit enterprises working together with a university to pursue a set of common goals. However, their status as peers depends on their willingness and ability to contribute sufficiently to the structure and demands of the service-learning module. The community partners who were able and willing to orientate each group of students to their organisation's mission and objectives, and who executed their roles according to the course requirements, experienced the greatest success in terms of project effectiveness and efficiency, and also in terms of future benefits when students returned to volunteer or provide donations. Given time, these community partners grew into an equal partner with the university's stakeholders, where both their own needs and those of the students were met during the various service-learning projects.

Social implications

Since all respondents in this study are non-profit organisations, the financial assistance and free labour afforded to them by the students are of paramount importance. The community partners also understand the longer-term value implications of successful student projects, as some students return of their free will to volunteer their services when gainfully employed after graduation.

Originality/value

Community engagement projects are rarely investigated from the community partner's point of view. This paper elicited their responses and examined them through the lens of Fraser's theory of social justice (Fraser, 2009).

Details

Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-7003

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Article
Publication date: 8 February 2021

Ning Li and William Hoggan Murphy

This paper aims to examine the effect of increases in alliance portfolio cultural diversity (IAPCD) on a firm’s performance and how portfolio configuration characteristics…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the effect of increases in alliance portfolio cultural diversity (IAPCD) on a firm’s performance and how portfolio configuration characteristics moderate this effect, aiming to enable managers to make better partner choice and portfolio configuration decisions to improve performance.

Design/methodology/approach

The sample includes 2,326 focal firms from 93 countries that formed 7,616 alliances between the years 1992 and 2006. This study uses generalized method of moments estimation to examine the effects of portfolio changes on next year’s firm sales performance.

Findings

Results reveal an inverted-U relationship between IAPCD and firm performance. Data limitations led to examining moderating effects only on the upslope portion of the inverted-U, indicating that an increasing percentage of joint ventures in a firm’s alliance portfolio strengthens IAPCD’s contribution to performance. Further, increased numbers of marketing alliances or research and development alliances and increased percentage of horizontal alliances in an alliance portfolio have a negative moderating effect.

Research limitations/implications

The sample mostly covers large companies. The data indicate that nearly all firms are on the upslope of an inverted-U IAPCD–to–performance relationship, allowing testing of moderating effects pre-inflection point only.

Practical implications

Firms can leverage the additions of culturally diverse partners toward improved performance through astute configuration decisions in alliance portfolio composition.

Originality/value

This paper uses the knowledge-based view to contribute to the alliance portfolio literature. This study asserts that capacity constraints affect firms’ ability to realize performance gains when taking on culturally diverse partners, an effect moderated by portfolio configurations. This paper tests hypothesis with longitudinal data.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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Article
Publication date: 8 February 2021

Masoud Azizkhani, Sarowar Hossain, Alicia Jiang and Wenjing Yap

The purpose of this study is to provide further evidence on the ongoing debate on the costs and benefits of mandatory audit partner rotation (MPR). Specifically, this…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to provide further evidence on the ongoing debate on the costs and benefits of mandatory audit partner rotation (MPR). Specifically, this study examines how MPR simultaneously affects audit reporting lag (ARL) and audit fees (AFs).

Design/methodology/approach

A simultaneous approach was adopted to further shed light on the findings currently documented by this line of research.

Findings

Using Australian data, it was found that MPRs increase AFs but do not affect ARL simultaneously in the year of MPRs. It was also found that the departing audit partners do not charge higher fees or delay the completion of the audits in the final year before their departure and that neither AFs nor ARL changes significantly for the second round of MPRs.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, no prior study on MPR has examined the issue using a simultaneous approach although failure to consider the simultaneous effect of interrelated variables may lead to estimation biases and problems of parameter identification. The results herein provide further evidence that the clients do not bear both costs of paying higher AFs and having the delayed audits and that the costs associated with MPRs do not occur earlier and the costs associated with MPRs may dissipate over time.

Details

Managerial Auditing Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-6902

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Article
Publication date: 29 January 2021

C.M. Sashi

Technological innovations that resulted in the emergence and widespread adoption of digital communication in recent years have led to a surge of academic and practitioner…

Abstract

Purpose

Technological innovations that resulted in the emergence and widespread adoption of digital communication in recent years have led to a surge of academic and practitioner interest in its implications for the co-creation of value and customer engagement. However, in comparison to the attention given to the study of customer engagement in consumer markets, few studies have examined its key role in business markets. This paper aims to examine the impact of digital communication on value co-creation and customer engagement in inter-organizational relationships in business networks.

Design/methodology/approach

Co-creation of value and customer engagement in business networks occurs among interconnected organizations that are partners in intermediate transactions. The paper develops a matrix of inter-organizational engagement among partners in business networks and propositions linking digital communication to value co-creation and inter-organizational engagement.

Findings

The relationships among network organizations may be characterized by the extent of relational exchange and inter-organizational bonds among them. Four types of inter-organizational engagement emerge: transactional partners, loyal partners, trusted partners and engaged partners. The partners co-create value to better satisfy customers.

Research limitations/implications

The paper is an initial attempt to develop a conceptual understanding of customer engagement in business markets and formulate propositions that can be further investigated. Networks of partner organizations co-create value, altering their input and output markets, value addition and products, permitting greater flexibility and customization in satisfying the needs of customers.

Practical implications

The ability afforded by digital communication for real-time interactive communication enables individuals from multiple departments and hierarchical positions within multiple organizations dispersed across geographic locations and industries to maintain contact, quickly and easily communicate task information, build trust and commitment in long-term relationships with network partners and provide superior customer value.

Originality/value

The paper represents a unique attempt to understand the nature of customer engagement in business markets. It discusses how digital communication alters market transactions among partner organizations in a network by facilitating changes in their make/buy decisions. It develops a matrix of inter-organizational engagement in business networks and propositions that improve understanding of the customer engagement concept and provide the foundation for strategies to better satisfy customers.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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Article
Publication date: 17 February 2021

Benjamin Fath, Antje Fiedler, Noemi Sinkovics, Rudolf R. Sinkovics and Bridgette Sullivan-Taylor

This paper aims to empirically investigate how small- and medium-sized enterprise (SMEs) have engaged with international network partners during COVID-19 and how the…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to empirically investigate how small- and medium-sized enterprise (SMEs) have engaged with international network partners during COVID-19 and how the crisis has changed network relationships and resilience depending on pre-COVID relationship strength and, secondarily, on opportunity outlook in a market.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper draws on 14 qualitative interviews with managers of New Zealand SMEs from diverse industries and four with industry experts. Rather than generalization, the aim of this exploratory paper is to identify contingency factors, which, under duress, strengthen or break business relationships.

Findings

Four main patterns emerge from the data, with respect to how SMEs engaged with network partners depending on the nature of their prepandemic relationships and the extent to which their markets had been affected by the pandemic. During crisis, weak ties either break or remain weak, forcing firms to create new, potentially opportunistic, relationships. Strong ties increase resilience, even under a negative outlook, as network partners support each other, including through the development of new ties. Strong ties can also accelerate business model transformation.

Research limitations/implications

Future large-scale research is needed to test the generalizability of the authors’ findings.

Practical implications

The findings of this paper indicate lessons for business continuation management and future preparedness for major disruptions. Specific insights may help stimulate managerial action to accelerate contingency planning and policy to support SMEs.

Originality/value

This paper is an early study on how weak and strong ties influence SME resilience during crisis.

Details

critical perspectives on international business, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1742-2043

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Article
Publication date: 8 February 2021

Chenyong Liu and Chunhao Xu

The purpose of this study is to examine the effect of audit engagement partner's professional experience on audit quality. The authors also investigate the relationship…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to examine the effect of audit engagement partner's professional experience on audit quality. The authors also investigate the relationship between the audit partner's experience and audit fees in both Big 4 and non-Big 4 accounting firms.

Design/methodology/approach

Since the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) officially enacted Rule 3211 in 2017, US accounting firms are required to disclose detailed information of engagement partners in Form AP (PCAOB, 2015b). The authors obtained a sample of 2,283 audit partners from Form AP and hand collected their individual professional experience data through Certified Public Accountant (CPA) database, corporate disclosure and social media sites (e.g. Linkedin). Econometric models with fixed effects are used in this study to test our hypotheses. Two-stage least square (2SLS) model is used in the robustness test.

Findings

The authors find that the relationship between audit engagement partner's professional experience and audit quality is concave. It indicates that audit quality is increasing during the early stage of engagement partners' career and then decreases as the partners approaching the late-career phase. Further, the authors find that partner's professional experience is positively associated with audit fees in non-Big 4 accounting firms but not significantly associated with audit fees in Big 4 accounting firms.

Practical implications

The finding of how auditor experience impacts audit quality can be useful for accounting firms to better plan their staffing in auditing engagements. This study’s results are also helpful for small accounting firms to optimize their pricing strategy.

Originality/value

This study provides new empirical evidence about the relation between auditor professional experience and audit quality. Furthermore, the authors extend the literature of audit fee determinants by testing the joint effects of audit firm-level factors and auditor individual-level professional experience on audit fees.

Details

Asian Review of Accounting, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1321-7348

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Article
Publication date: 21 January 2021

Shihao Li, Yanghong Hu, Lan Xu and Guoqun Fu

This paper aims to explore how different service relationships (mentoring relationship versus partnering relationship) in service co-production affect service outcomes…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore how different service relationships (mentoring relationship versus partnering relationship) in service co-production affect service outcomes. Specifically, it aims to explore whether the effects of service relationships on customers’ intention to purchase the service are contingent upon service appeals’ regulatory focus (promotion versus prevention focus) and when the regulatory fit effects exist.

Design/methodology/approach

Three experimental studies were conducted to test hypotheses. ANOVA and bootstrapping were used to analyze the data.

Findings

The findings of the three experiments provide convergent evidence for the hypotheses. Specifically, when customers view service employees as mentors (versus partners) in service co-production, promotion-focused (versus prevention focused) service appeals effectively enhance customers’ intention to purchase the service because customers experience a regulatory fit. Moreover, the regulatory fit effects are strengthened or attenuated according to customers’ subjective social status.

Practical implications

Service firms should adopt promotion-focused (versus prevention-focused) service appeals if employees and customers are having mentoring (versus partnering) relationships, especially when customers have higher (lower) social status.

Originality/value

To better manage service co-production, this paper investigates beneficial outcomes of mentoring and partnering relationships from a regulatory fit perspective. It highlights the importance of compatibility between service relationship and service appeals’ regulatory focus and demonstrates a novel regulatory fit effect. It also uncovers engagement as the underlying mechanism for the regulatory-fit effect and identifies social class as a boundary condition.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

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Article
Publication date: 4 January 2021

Giulio Ferrigno, Giovanni Battista Dagnino and Nadia Di Paola

Drawing upon the importance of research and development (R&D) alliances in driving firm innovation performance, extant research has analyzed individually the impact of R&D…

Abstract

Purpose

Drawing upon the importance of research and development (R&D) alliances in driving firm innovation performance, extant research has analyzed individually the impact of R&D alliance partner attributes on firm innovation performance. Despite such analyzes, research has generally underestimated the configurations of partner attributes leading to firm innovation performance. This research gap is interesting to explore, as firms involved in R&D alliances usually face a combination of partner attributes. Moreover, gaining a better understanding of how R&D partner attributes tie into configurations is an issue that is attracting particular interest in coopetition research and alliance literature. This paper aims to obtain a better knowledge of this underrated, but important, aspect of alliances by exploring what configurations of R&D alliance partner attributes lead firms involved in R&D alliances to achieve high innovation performance. To tackle this question, first, this study reviews the extant literature on R&D alliances by relying on the knowledge-based view of alliances to identify the most impactful partner attributes on firms’ innovation performance. This paper then applies a fuzzy set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA) to explore the configurations of R&D alliance partner attributes that lead firms involved in R&D alliances to achieve high innovation performance.

Design/methodology/approach

This study selects 27 R&D alliances formed worldwide in the telecom industry. This paper explores the multiple configurations of partner attributes of these alliances by conducting a fsQCA.

Findings

The findings of the fsQCA show that the two alternate configurations of partner attributes guided the firms involved in these alliances to achieve high innovation performance: a configuration with extensive partner technological relatedness and coopetition, but no experience; and a configuration with extensive partner experience and competition, but no technological relatedness.

Research limitations/implications

The research highlights the importance of how partner attributes (i.e. partner technological relatedness, partner competitive overlap, partner experience and partner relative size) tie, with regard to the firms’ access to external knowledge and consequently to their willingness to achieve high innovation performance. Moreover, this paper reveals the beneficial effect of competition on the innovation performance of the firms involved in R&D alliances when some of the other knowledge-based partner attributes are considered. Despite these insights for alliance and coopetition literature, some limitations are to be noted. First, some of the partners’ attributes considered could be further disentangled into sub-partner attributes. Second, other indicators might be used to measure firms’ innovation performance. Third, as anticipated this study applies fsQCA to explore the combinatory effects of partner attributes in the specific context of R&D alliances in the telecom industry worldwide and in a specific time window. This condition may question the extensibility of the results to other industries and times.

Practical implications

This study also bears two interesting implications for alliance managers. First, the paper suggests that R&D alliance managers need to be aware that potential alliance partners have multiple attributes leading to firm innovation performance. In this regard, partner competitive overlap is particularly important for gaining a better understanding of firm innovation performance. When looking for strategic partners, managers should try to ally with highly competitive enterprises so as to access their more innovative knowledge. Second, the results also highlight that this beneficial effect of coopetition in R&D alliances can be amplified in two ways. On the one hand, when the partners involved in the alliance have not yet developed experience in forming alliances. Partners without previous experience supply ideal stimuli to unlock more knowledge in the alliance because new approaches to access and develop knowledge in the alliance could be explored. On the other hand, this paper detects the situation when the allied partners are developing technologies and products in different areas. When partnering with firms coming from different technological areas, the knowledge diversity that can be leveraged in the alliances could drive alliance managers to generate synergies and economies of scope within the coopetitive alliance.

Originality/value

Extant research has analyzed individually the impact of R&D alliance partner attributes on firm innovation performance but has concurrently underestimated the configurations of partner attributes leading to firm innovation performance. Therefore, this paper differs from previous studies, as it provides an understanding of the specific configurations of R&D alliance partner attributes leading firms involved in R&D alliances to achieve high innovation performance.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

Keywords

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