Performativity in auditing practice
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This study examines the characteristics of representationalism, which is based on traditional economic organization theory, where a rational perspective is taken and accounting numbers are seen as representations of reality, and performativity, which is based on actor-network theory, where a relational perspective is taken and accounting numbers are inscriptions. As both have another perspective on accounting numbers, they also both imply a different role for the auditor. As representationalism is the basis of the audit profession, but also has received much critique, an alternative perspective of performativity was introduced. The main question in this study is: What are the consequences of performativity for the auditing practice? Auditors are interviewed to come up with an answer to that question. In short, the answer is that auditors do not yet agree about if and how audit practice would change if you take a performativity perspective on audit practice. There is thus still a lot to learn about this topic. Maybe audit practice would change towards a more development oriented and advisory role, where the auditor is part of the network that constitutes organization’s reality and maybe nothing will change because the idea of performativity is not compatible with audit practice.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen