Date of Award

1992

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Accounting

First Advisor

Nicholas Apostolou

Abstract

The last two decades have seen a significant increase in the number and size of multinational corporations and a growing global investment environment. Linked to that growth has been a call for standards that produce accounting information that is capable of crossing national boundaries. One of the groups of professional elites that have addressed the call for harmonized international accounting standards is the International Accounting Standards Committee (IASC). The IASC objective (IASC 1988, 1) states that it will "work generally for the improvement and harmonization of regulations, accounting standards and procedures ... " To address such a goal, the IASC has had to deal with a number of ethnocentric elements, which are generally considered to act as potential barriers to the harmonization process. Culture is a common referent in the literature as one of these potential barriers. This research investigates the link between culture and attitudes toward the harmonization efforts of the IASC. The concept of culture was defined using the four work-environment cultural dimensions developed by Hofstede (1980). The attitudes toward harmonization efforts was operationalized by responding to general and specific statements related to the IASC Comparability Project--Exposure Draft 32. Accounting professionals working in the overseas offices of Big Six accounting firms were used to examine the culture/international harmonization link. The results of the t-tests indicate partial support for the link between Hofstede's cultural dimensions and both general and specific attitudes toward the IASC's Comparability Project. Two of the four cultural dimensions (i.e., uncertainty avoidance and individualism) offer a stronger conceptual link concerning the general topic of harmonization attitudes. The results tended to verify this conceptual tie. An additional analysis using logistic and profit regression lends additional support for Hofstede's contention that the dimensions are measures of group values (i.e., national culture) rather than individual values.

Pages

140

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