Accountancy worlds: commoditization, competitiveness, compromises

Gardner, Emma Catherine (2018). Accountancy worlds: commoditization, competitiveness, compromises. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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This thesis explores the changing nature of accountancy in Birmingham and the increasing price-sensitivity of the industry, which is producing interesting tensions inside firms and between the workplace and home lives. This is part of ongoing commoditization, which has been frequently cited in the literature, but overlooked empirically.
This research presents an integrated analysis of commoditization based upon 60 semi-structured interviews, investigating its drivers as well as the responses to the phenomenon. A conceptualisation of the current phase of commoditization is presented and the adaptations in firm level routines are explored. It then analyses the impacts of commoditization and changing firm practices on the lives of individuals at work, and the resultant effect on home lives. This thesis uncovers an increasing hybridisation of the worlds of work and home and highlights the contested nature of the boundary between the two spaces, which is placing constraints on career lifestyles.
This work contributes a holistic and empirical understanding of commoditization to the literature, changing the way that knowledge services are conceptualised. It also uncovers new dimensions of organisational routines; hidden and visible routines, and identifies the individual as a powerful actor in the performance of firm routines, contributing to the literature on evolutionary theory.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
School or Department: Birmingham Business School
Funders: Other
Other Funders: The University of Birmingham, The University of Birmingham
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5601 Accounting


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