The Adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards in Africa: An Institutional Perspective
Solomon Zori (Doctoral project)
The idea that policy diffusion can occur via two different mechanisms has gained attention in the realm of international accounting since the European Union’s adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRSs) in 2005. Proponents of rational choice approaches argue that countries choosing to adopt, motivated solely by economic rationality, are seeking economic benefits and an improvement of information quality. Institutional scholars, on the contrary, see the need of decision-makers to appear legitimate to their peers in other countries as the major driver of IFRS diffusion. However, in Africa, a majority of countries have not yet adopted IFRSs despite calls by international organizations to do so. The purpose of this dissertation project is to analyze the logics behind the diffusion of IFRSs in Africa and to develop an institutional explanation that is more encompassing than a rational choice explanation. The project investigates why many African countries resist adopting IFRSs, looking at the factors that foster or limit IFRSs’ diffusion and the role actors at transnational and local levels play. Methodologically, the project combines a qualitative comparative analysis with case studies of selected African countries. Project duration: October 2011 to December 2014.