A New Institutional Analysis of IFRS

Ahmed Kholeif

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This article examines a detailed case study of the symbolic use of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRSs) in an Egyptian state-owned company (AQF Co.) that is partially privatized by drawing on new institutional sociology (NIS) and its extensions. It explains how the ceremonial use of IFRSs is shaped by the interplay between institutionalized accounting practices, conflicting institutions, power relations, and the role of information technology (IT) in institutionalizing accounting rules and routines. Methodology/approach – The research methodology is based on an intensive case study informed by NIS, especially the interplay between conflicting institutions, power relations, and IT role in institutionalizing accounting practice. Data were collected from multiple sources, including interviews, discussions, and documentary analysis. Findings – The findings revealed that the company faced conflicting institutional demands from outside. The Central Agency for Accountability required the company to use the Uniform Accounting System (as a state-owned enterprise) and the Egyptian Capital Market Authority (CMA) required the company to use IFRSs (as a partially private sector company registered in the stock exchange). To meet these conflicting institutional demands, the company adopted loosely coupled accounting rules and routines and IT was used in institutionalizing existing Uniform Accounting System and preserving the status quo. Research limitations – This study has limitations associated with its use of the case study method, including the inability to generalize from the findings of a single case study and the subjective interpretation by the researcher of the empirical data. Practical implications – This article identifies that the interplay between institutional pressures, institutionalized accounting practices, intra-organizational power relations, and the role of IT in institutionalizing accounting routines contributed to the ceremonial use of IFRSs in an Egyptian state-owned enterprise. Understanding such relationships can help other organizations to become more aware of the factors affecting successful implementation and internalization of IFRSs and provide a better basis for planning the introduction of IFRSs into other organizations worldwide. Originality/value of article – This article draws on recent research and thinking in sociology, especially the development and application of NIS. In addition, this article is concerned with the symbolic use of IFRSs in a transitional developing economy, Egypt, and hence contributes to debate about exporting Western accounting practices and other technologies to countries with different cultures and different stages of economic and political development.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResearch in Accounting in Emerging Economies
EditorsMathew Tsamenyi, Shahzad Uddin
Number of pages300
ISBN (Print)9780857244512
Publication statusPublished - 2 Dec 2010

Publication series

NameResearch in Accounting in Emerging Economies


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