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The accountancy profession and the ambiguities of globalisation in a post-colonial, Middle Eastern and Islamic context: Perceptions of accountants in Syria

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Sonja Gallhofer, Professor Jim Haslam


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Globalisation, linked to Anglo-American political economy, is a force for socio-economic, political and cultural change. This has ambiguous implications for accounting and the profession and engenders differing and ambivalent responses. We critically and contextually give a voice to Syrian accountants, exploring how they perceive globalisation's actual and potential impacts. In-depth, face-to-face interviews with Syrian accountants indicate they perceive globalisation as Anglo-American and imperialistic in character. The interviewees highlight challenges facing the Syrian profession, including competition in accountancy from international firms that threatens to impact upon local jobs, the need to adopt and enforce international standards of accounting in Syria and related changes required in training to achieve integration in the global order. They also see globalisation as having positive dimensions that may be mobilised to better their lives and the profession. The critical appreciation of the accounting-globalisation interrelation and recognition of ambiguity here constitutes a particular resistance to globalisation's negatives, to which local professional accountancy is actually and potentially aligned.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Gallhofer S, Haslam J, Kamla R

Publication type: Article

Journal: Critical Perspectives on Accounting

Year: 2011

Volume: 22

Issue: 4

Pages: 376-395

ISSN (print): 1045-2354

ISSN (electronic): 1095-9955

Publisher: Elsevier B.V.


DOI: 10.1016/


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