Shifting Strategies: the Pursuit of Closure and the 'Association of German Auditors'



Evans L (2018) Shifting Strategies: the Pursuit of Closure and the 'Association of German Auditors'. European Accounting Review, 27 (4), pp. 683-712.

Drawing on Weber’s (1972) theories of social stratification and closure, and on Parkin’s (1979) development thereof, this paper contributes a case study of Germany to the literature on closure processes (rather than outcomes), and outcomes falling short of professionalization. It explores the early history of the first German association of auditors, the Verband Deutscher Bücherrevisoren (VDB), founded in 1896. The paper traces how closure was pursued, at various times, by different means and to different degrees, depending on the changing social, economic and political contexts and on changing perception of what would best serve the association’s interest. By thus focusing on the shifting aims and strategies of the VDB, the paper contributes new insights into the dynamics within professions and between professions and their environments, and the dynamics and conditions underlying failed professionalization projects. The paper shows that, while the VDB had a degree of success in creating many of the structure and processes of a modern professional body, its ambition to achieve market and professional closure was not fulfilled.

auditors; professions; Germany; closure

European Accounting Review: Volume 27, Issue 4

Publication date31/12/2018
Publication date online23/05/2017
Date accepted by journal12/04/2017
PublisherTaylor and Francis

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Professor Lisa Evans

Professor Lisa Evans

Professor of Accounting, Accounting & Finance