The research of organizational structure and control in the audit profession suggest that there is a contradiction in that auditors should both nurture collegialities while they at the same time have their own responsibility for their individual development and career. This creates a competitive situation among colleagues who in return are expected to maintain a good social relationship and team spirit with each individual. Subsequently, being part of the collegiality and being highly individualistic, gives rise to a theoretical dilemma where these opposing forces are supposed to coincide with each other.The purpose of this paper is to create a bigger understanding of how auditors at major accounting firms can handle the conflict that arises. In order to explore this dilemma, we conducted a qualitative study based on an abductive approach. We have made seven semi-structured interviews from a localistic view. In addition, we have limited our sample to auditors in the Big 4 of southern Sweden.Furthermore, we have chosen to analyse the conflict from an identity perspective to better understand how auditors can relate to both collegiality and individualism. Through this study we have concluded that it only looks like a paradox in theory. Our empirical evidence suggests that this is not a practical problem. This principal contradiction dissolves in the everyday chaos where one is automatically suppressed by the other. Our conclusion that auditors do not see this as a practical problem, does not lead to that the theoretical dilemma is unimportant. It rather requires a deeper understanding of the phenomenon. The conclusion also results into questioning what this means for the theory of control and organizational structure.This phenomenon can also be applied to other parts of society. Today's labour market is considered increasingly individualized where each individual is responsible for their own success, while they at the same time are supposed to consider the collegiality and collaborate with others as well as the company at large. Therefore, our study provides a social contribution in the form of increased understanding of how individuals deal with the conflict between collegiality and individualism.
|Date of Award||2014-Jul-10|
|Supervisor||Johan Alvehus (Supervisor) & Pernilla Broberg (Examiner)|
- Degree of Bachelor of Science in Business and Economics
- 15 HE credits
Swedish Standard Keywords
- Business Administration (50202)