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Book part
Publication date: 28 November 2016

Sabrina Gabl, Verena E. Wieser and Andrea Hemetsberger

We stress the public demand for accountability of global brands and the rise in normative public brand evaluations in online networks. To gain an empirical and theoretical…

Abstract

Purpose

We stress the public demand for accountability of global brands and the rise in normative public brand evaluations in online networks. To gain an empirical and theoretical understanding of these phenomena, we introduce the notion of public brand auditing, which refers to public agents collectively contrasting brands against a multiplicity of shared understandings of what is worthy and good.

Methodology/approach

Convention theory serves as a theoretical lens to conceptualize public brand auditing, since it provides a normative framework of orders of worth based on which the appropriateness of actions are judged. Empirically, we conduct a netnographic study and illustrate public auditing strategies with online discussions about Google on the Slashdot platform.

Findings

We find that public brand auditing comprises two major auditing strategies: drawing leeways of acceptable brand conduct and allocating responsibilities.

Research implications

Approaching public forms of normative brand judgments from a convention theory perspective allows researchers to better understand how the public holds brands accountable and evaluates brand conduct against higher-order principles.

Practical implications

The concept of public brand auditing helps managers to understand and approach the normative basis of both positive and negative brand judgments.

Social implications

We urge brands to monitor public demand for accountability and emphasize the importance of the civic, market, and industrial orders of worth in guiding brand conduct.

Originality/value

This paper offers a conceptualization of and a framework for investigating public brand auditing phenomena.

Details

Consumer Culture Theory
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-495-2

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Book part
Publication date: 2 September 2019

Verena E. Wieser, Andrea Hemetsberger and Marius K. Luedicke

Whenever the news media feature brand-related moral struggles over issues such as ethicality, fairness, or sustainability, brands often find themselves in the position of…

Abstract

Whenever the news media feature brand-related moral struggles over issues such as ethicality, fairness, or sustainability, brands often find themselves in the position of the culprit. However, brands may also take the opposite position, that of a moral entrepreneur who proactively raises and addresses moral issues that matter to society. In this chapter, the authors present a case study of the Austrian shoe manufacturer Waldviertler, which staged a protest campaign against Austria’s financial market authorities in the wake of the authorities demanding that the company closes its alternative (and illegal) consumer investment model after 10 years of operation. In response to this demand, the company organized protest marches, online petitions, and press conferences to reclaim the moral high ground for its financing model as a way out of the crunch following the global credit crisis and as a way to fight unfair administrative burdens. The authors present an interpretive analysis of brand communication material and media coverage that reveals how this brand used protest rhetoric on three levels – logos, ethos, and pathos – to reverse moral standards, to embody a rebel ethos, and to cultivate moral indignation. The authors also show how the media responded to protest rhetoric both with thematic coverage of context, trends, and general evidence, and with episodic coverage focusing on dramatic actions and the company owner’s charisma. The authors close with a discussion of how protestainment, the stylization of a leader figure, and marketplace sentiments can ensure sustained media coverage of moral struggles.

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Article
Publication date: 2 June 2014

Ingrid Jeacle

The purpose of this paper is to examine the role of the Official Scrutineer in the annual film awards ceremony of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA)…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the role of the Official Scrutineer in the annual film awards ceremony of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA), a role currently occupied by the audit firm Deloitte. The case of BAFTA provides an illustrative example of the increasing demand for discretionary assurance services from audit firms (Free et al., 2009), which in turn is reflective of Power's (1997) “audit society”. It showcases the power of audit as a legitimating tool. The paper seeks to understand the role of the auditor as assurance provider by drawing upon Goffman's (1959) dramaturgical framework. Viewing the auditor as “performer” and a range of interested stakeholders (BAFTA voting members, sponsors, award winners and industry commentators) as the “audience”, this theoretical lens facilitates insights into the nature of assurance provision.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper gathers interview data from within the case organization (BAFTA), it's Official Scrutineers (Deloitte), BAFTA voting members, sponsors, award winners and film industry commentators.

Findings

Drawing on Goffman's (1959) work on impression management to inform its theoretical argumentation, the analysis of results from 36 interviews indicates that Deloitte are highly effective in delivering a successful performance to their audience; they convey a very convincing impression of trust and assurance. The paper therefore suggests the importance of performance ritual in the auditor's role as assurance provider. Additionally, it argues that such a performance may be particularly effective, in the eyes of the audience, when played by a well known audit firm.

Originality/value

The paper highlights the expanding territorial scope of assurance provision by audit firms. By focusing on a glamorous media event, it also furthers an understanding of the role of accounting within the domain of popular culture.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 27 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Book part
Publication date: 17 April 2018

Yousuf Kamal

This chapter investigates the perceptions of social audit within the context of the garment companies of Bangladesh. The chapter highlights two recent incidents that…

Abstract

Purpose

This chapter investigates the perceptions of social audit within the context of the garment companies of Bangladesh. The chapter highlights two recent incidents that claimed the lives of about 1,300 garment workers in Bangladesh. Based on the fact that Western clothing brands use social audits before sourcing their products from Bangladesh, this chapter investigates if any real change happens as a result of the information provided in the social audit reports.

Methodology/approach

The insights were gathered through conducting personal interviews with managers of social audit firms, corporate managers and various stakeholders of the textile and garment companies of Bangladesh. This chapter used the accountability theory to understand the perceptions of social audit.

Findings

The chapter finds that different stakeholders have different perspectives regarding social audits. The high-profile catastrophes within the supply chain garment factories of Bangladesh provided evidence that social audits did not help prevent such catastrophes in a different socio-economic context. The results have revealed stakeholder dissatisfaction with the procedures and content of social audits. It also finds that there is an expectation gap between the preparers and users of social audit reports.

Practical implications

The insights provided in this chapter would benefit garment manufacturers of developing countries and relevant stakeholders to demonstrate more accountability while conducting a social audit.

Originality/value

This is the first known chapter investigating stakeholders’ perceptions of social audit within the context of a developing country. More importantly, it focuses on responsible corporate behaviour in a socially sensitive industry.

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1990

Gordon Wills, Sherril H. Kennedy, John Cheese and Angela Rushton

To achieve a full understanding of the role ofmarketing from plan to profit requires a knowledgeof the basic building blocks. This textbookintroduces the key concepts in…

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Abstract

To achieve a full understanding of the role of marketing from plan to profit requires a knowledge of the basic building blocks. This textbook introduces the key concepts in the art or science of marketing to practising managers. Understanding your customers and consumers, the 4 Ps (Product, Place, Price and Promotion) provides the basic tools for effective marketing. Deploying your resources and informing your managerial decision making is dealt with in Unit VII introducing marketing intelligence, competition, budgeting and organisational issues. The logical conclusion of this effort is achieving sales and the particular techniques involved are explored in the final section.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 28 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

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Article
Publication date: 21 September 2012

Thanyawee Pratoomsuwan

The purpose of this paper is to examine the demand for high quality auditors and the effect of their brand names on a security's pricing at the time of its initial public

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806

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the demand for high quality auditors and the effect of their brand names on a security's pricing at the time of its initial public offering. Because the Thai capital market is highly regulated, especially in terms of auditor selection (i.e. the Thai Security and Exchange Commission provides a list of individually qualified auditors and underwriting firms that the issuing firms have to choose from), it is therefore of interest to look at the demand for reputable audit firms and the importance of reputation capital in the signaling mechanism.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected from 100 issuing firms that went public between 2003 and 2008. Logistic regression and OLS regression were applied to test the relationship between the use of reputable audit firms and the level of underpricing of new issues. The demand for reputable audit firms in this highly regulated capital market is also examined.

Findings

The results suggest that only the newer large firms will select the higher quality audit firms, namely the Big Four. Furthermore, the role of the audit firms in the signaling model is also examined. The findings illustrate that new security issues are underpriced less when they engage Big Four audit firms, but there is no significant association between the underwriter and the level of underpricing. However, this relationship becomes more negative when Big Four audit firms and prestigious underwriters are both employed.

Research limitations/implications

The findings confirm the auditor's significant signaling role. Therefore, when the choice of an auditor and underwriter is restricted, the issuing firms should consider hiring reputable audit firms, rather than prestigious underwriters, at the time of the initial public offering. Potential investors could also use the interpretations of these findings to make rational investment decisions.

Originality/value

The paper focuses on the new issues market in Thailand, which is inefficient and overly regulated.

Details

International Journal of Emerging Markets, vol. 7 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-8809

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Article
Publication date: 26 June 2009

Yu‐Shu Cheng, Yi‐Pei Liu and Chu‐Yang Chien

Following the high profile collapses of Enron and WorldCom, and the demise of Andersen, human capital (HC) has become a key driver of auditor quality. The purpose of this…

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Abstract

Purpose

Following the high profile collapses of Enron and WorldCom, and the demise of Andersen, human capital (HC) has become a key driver of auditor quality. The purpose of this study is to investigate if there is a positive association between HC and auditor quality in public accounting firms and if the extent of association varies between accounting firms.

Design/methodology/approach

Multiple regression and logistic modeling are applied to examine the association between auditor quality and HC. The sample consists of 4,865 firm‐year observations over the period from 1989 to 2004.

Findings

The main findings indicate that higher investments in HC correspond to a higher level of auditor quality. Furthermore, the power of HC on auditor quality has a significant difference between public and non‐public audit market firms.

Research limitations/implications

A number of theoretical and measurement limitations are acknowledged that could further increase the statistical power of the tests.

Practical implications

The findings should be of interest to regulators, auditors, audit clients, and academics. The findings also suggest that HC has an impact on overall auditor quality. The audit firms need more well‐educated and well‐trained professionals with the experience to keep pace with the changing nature of the market and to perform audit tasks.

Originality/value

The findings fill a gap in the literature regarding auditor quality and HC from the perspective of public accounting firms.

Details

Managerial Auditing Journal, vol. 24 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-6902

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1994

K. K. Raman and Wanda A. Wallace

The relationship between the size of state audit budgets, audit responsibilities, professional characteristics of staff, risk, and tax and expenditure limitations is…

Abstract

The relationship between the size of state audit budgets, audit responsibilities, professional characteristics of staff, risk, and tax and expenditure limitations is explored. Bivariate relationships are examined and then a model is estimated which controls for size, complexity, financial risk factors, and political risk factors. This provides a framework for considering the incremental influence of specialized audit inputs. Both "brand names" and size have been used in past research to proxy for quality dimensions intended to differentiate the audit product provided by different suppliers. This research extends such work by considering characteristics of the auditing services as reflected by specific inputs and by using cost data rather than audit fee data. The states are observed to differ in their responses to financial and political factors by spending resources on peer review, continuing professional education, certifications of professional staff, and expertise in both the computer science area and in law. A positive association of cost and auditor differentiation, implicit in past audit fee literature is corroborated.

Details

Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management, vol. 6 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1096-3367

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 1999

Rocco R. Vanasco

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) of 1977 and its amendment – the Trade and Competitive Act of 1988 – are unique not only in the history of the accounting and…

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4864

Abstract

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) of 1977 and its amendment – the Trade and Competitive Act of 1988 – are unique not only in the history of the accounting and auditing profession, but also in international law. The Acts raised awareness of the need for efficient and adequate internal control systems to prevent illegal acts such as the bribery of foreign officials, political parties and governments to secure or maintain contracts overseas. Its uniqueness is also due to the fact that the USA is the first country to pioneer such a legislation that impacted foreign trade, international law and codes of ethics. The research traces the history of the FCPA before and after its enactment, the role played by the various branches of the United States Government – Congress, Department of Justice, Securities Exchange commission (SEC), Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS); the contributions made by professional associations such as the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICFA), the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA), the American Bar Association (ABA); and, finally, the role played by various international organizations such as the United Nations (UN), the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC). A cultural, ethical and legalistic background will give a better understanding of the FCPA as wll as the rationale for its controversy.

Details

Managerial Auditing Journal, vol. 14 no. 4/5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-6902

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 2006

Michael Barrett and Yves Gendron

This paper seeks to examine how auditors sought to establish their trustworthiness as trust providers on the internet; a vision which has remained largely unrealized. The…

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to examine how auditors sought to establish their trustworthiness as trust providers on the internet; a vision which has remained largely unrealized. The investigation focuses on the WebTrust assurance project, launched by the North American accounting institutes to reinvigorate the alleged declining market for the expertise of external auditors.

Design/methodology/approach

An in‐depth longitudinal case study drew on a social theory of trust to examine the complexity of relations upon which trustworthiness of professional claims is predicated and investigate how commercialism has influenced the development of WebTrust.

Findings

Analysis illustrates the critical role that experts have in professionalization processes in trusting (or not) their own systems of expertise. Also, face‐to‐face relationships continue to play a key role in establishing the trustworthiness of professionals and their systems of expertise – even in the cyberspace domain.

Practical implications

It is argued that the WebTrust case and other commercialistic ventures sustained in accountancy provide a persuasive argument against the benefits of the free‐market logic in professional domains. Professional associations should be more vigorous in defending professionalism.

Originality/value

The research indicates that élite bodies of the profession, including professional associations, conceived of WebTrust mainly through a commercialistic lens – which is particularly revealing of the mindset that seemed to characterize a number of experienced professional accountants across North America shortly before the collapse of Andersen. The WebTrust saga illustrates how the profession has strayed from its ideals, or myths, of service ethic towards more focused efforts in developing “innovative” services based on a commercialistic logic.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 19 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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