Mihret, Dessalegn Getie and James, Kieran and Mula, Joseph M. (2012) Accounting professionalization amidst alternating state ideology in Ethiopia. Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, 25 (7). pp. 1206-1233. ISSN 1368-0668
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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/09513571211263248
Identification Number or DOI: doi: 10.1108/09513571211263248
Purpose: This paper examines accounting and auditing professionalization processes in the context of alternating state ideology in Ethiopia over the past century to identify how changes in the politico-economic milieu impacted on these processes. Design/methodology/approach: The study used archival evidence and oral history of nascent indigenous accounting and auditing associations in Ethiopia. It employed a combination of functionalist, interactionist, and critical perspectives to interpret phenomena in the professionalization processes. Emerging themes are further enriched by interpreting them in light of results of similar studies in other developing countries. Findings: The study portrays, despite a lack of adequate impetus to establish viable indigenous accounting bodies, the professionization dynamics exhibited different patterns in three epochs in which Ethiopia had alternating state ideologies. It epitomizes how the alternation of state ideology between capitalism and communism reflected on the emphasis to accounting technologies as conceptualization in the capitalist vis-à-vis communist economic contexts. State role in the supply of accounting labour, interactions between the state and global forces, and inadequate ‘signals of movement’ for indigenous accounting profession as well as the role of imported accountancy expertise as a fallback are identified as key themes in the dynamics. Originality/value: Conducted in a developing economic setting that is characterized by alternating state ideology, the study contributes to understanding of accounting profession’s global configuration and elucidates how state ideology and the ensuing politico-economic context could influence accounting professionalization processes.
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