An exploratory study to deepen understanding of the decision-making processes of national accounting standards boards
: The case of adoption or otherwise of IFRS for SMEs in the EU

  • Mohammad Wazzan

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)


    In 2009, the IASB issued its International Financial Reporting Standard for Small and Medium‐sized Entities. Little is known about what influenced countries’ decisions on whether to adopt this important standard.
    This study aims to develop a deeper understanding of the decision-making process of national accounting standards boards (NASBs) by examining the influence of both visible environmental factors, including the European Community (EC), national governments and stakeholders, and unseen environmental factors such as authority, history and culture on their behaviour towards IFRS for SMEs. Scholars have criticised NASBs’ decision-making processes for being conducted inside a black box and have called for further investigation of this topic. This study uses IFRS for SMEs as a vehicle to fulfil its main objectives by focusing on different European Union (EU) jurisdictions because their reactions toward IFRS for SMEs varied significantly. This is despite the fact that all EU jurisdictions must conform to EC directives, and hence have common rules which they must incorporate.
    The main contribution of this study is to show that EU governments’ and NASBs’ decision-making processes are not isomorphic but differ significantly. Moreover the various behaviours toward IFRS for SMEs resulted not from cost benefit analyses or domination of a single entity or factor but from the influence of interrelated environmental factors that differ from one jurisdiction to another. The findings are explained through a theoretical framework which incorporates theories of power and legitimacy into institutional theory and suggest that whilst the EC had the capacity to mandate adoption of the standard, it chose not to exercise this power. This in turn led other visible environmental factors, including governments and stakeholders, and unseen environmental factors, such as authority, history and culture, to influence the final outcomes and behaviour of governments and NASBs toward IFRS for SMEs.
    Date of Award28 Jun 2019
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • The University of Bristol
    SupervisorSheila Ellwood (Supervisor) & Stuart M Cooper (Supervisor)

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