• Ersa Wahyuni

Student thesis: Phd


The aim of this research is to develop an understanding of the rapid diffusion of IFRS as a set of global accounting standards by studying in detail the process by which a selected number of countries formally chose to adopt or converge to IFRS over US GAAP. This study examines the IFRS adoption or convergence decision-making processes in six countries, namely Philippine, Brazil, Canada, Indonesia, Japan and the US. The research explores how the sampled countries made their decision to adopt or converge with IFRS by analysing the events, the work of key actors and the arguments that precipitated and bolstered such decision making. In considering countries where the option was arguably to choose between one of two 'quality' sets of accounting standards, the paper provides a valuable opportunity to consider the extent to which the case for quality (so often made in support of the value and rise of IFRS) was influential in the adoption process and the extent to which other factors played a significant role. This study argues that it is the idea of 'one global accounting standard' which has been diffused and not only just IFRS. Countries opposing IFRS adoption face the risk of being alienated by the IFRS international community, thus several have purported to support the idea of 'one global accounting standard', although that may not necessarily indicate IFRS adoption. This study finds that technical accounting issues, comparing the quality of both standards, did not dominate the debate during the decision making process, but other factors such as maintaining (or advancing) their international influence have been dominant reasons for choosing IFRS in most sample countries. This thesis develops a new analytical framework by depicting the adoption process of IFRS as an ongoing engagement of interested actors who exert different types of institutional work during the four stages of adoption: harmonisation, decision, transition and implementation. The framework, serves to develop existing institutional work theory (Lawrence and Suddaby, 2006), shows that distruptive, creating, and maintaining institutional work are not wielded autonomously but rather are interconnected with each other and they are capable of evolving over time. Focusing on the work itself and not the institutional outcome, the framework reveals a less deterministic causal relationship between one particular institutional work and its intended outcome. This study is hoped to encourage the development of such theory in accounting standard-setting contexts. Empirically, a developing global isomorphism of national standard-setters forms is identified by this study as an evident implication of IFRS adoption. Upon adoption of IFRS, national standard-setters are becoming more similar in their governance and due process, mimicking the IASB model. The need to survive upon surrendering most of their authorities to the IASB, is also arguably encouraging the emergence of regional groups of national standard-setters, which in turn may evolve to become a new regulatory field operating within and between the international and national regulatory fields. Such developments have a number of important implications in respect of the development of future research and regulatory policy in the area of international standard settings.
Date of Award31 Dec 2016
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorChristopher Humphrey (Supervisor) & Edward Lee (Supervisor)


  • IFRS, US GAAP, Institutional Work, Convergence, Adoption

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