China's participation and resistance in adopting Western accounting practices
Huang, Hedy Jiaying; Hooper, Keith; Sinclair, Rowena
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Citation:Huang, H., Hooper, K., and Sinclair, R. (2014). China's participation and resistance in adopting Western accounting practices. Paper presented at Auckland Region Accounting (ARA) Conference, 4 December, Auckland, New Zealand.
Permanent link to Research Bank record:https://hdl.handle.net/10652/2871
Purpose - The aim of this paper is to investigate China’s attitude towards adopting western accounting practices. In particular, its response to the expansion of western professional accounting bodies into China will be studied. Design/methodology/approach - The paper draws on the theoretical framework of new institutional sociology (NIS) and legitimacy theory to disentangle the symbolic from the substantive in respect of what government, accounting institutions and ‘actors’ say and the strategies they employ. Data are collected using semi-structured in-depth interviews and qualitative document analysis. Findings - The study reveals a strong coercive influence of western institutional networks (such as the western professional accounting bodies, the Big 4, multinational enterprises, the World Bank, the IASB, the IMF, and the WTO) on China, and China’s limited power to control these institutions. The authors find the intrusion of the western accounting institutions has been seen as a threat to China’s information secrecy and national security. As a result, there are signs of a push-back against the operations of the international accounting organisations in the Chinese market. Research limitations/implications – China’s participation in the areas investigated in this paper would promote the further globalisation of accounting, while China’s resistance may come about because China feels its voice in international organisations, professions, and accounting education is being undervalued. The extent of China’s participation or resistance will be of great significance for the future of accounting globalisation. Originality/value - It is against a background of China’s growing assertiveness that the research was undertaken and this study is, arguably, therefore able to make a contribution to the history of the Anglo-Saxon accounting profession and its move into overseas countries. The paper also makes a contribution to knowledge through the application of NIS theory to the field of the accounting profession.