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Can Audit (Still) Be Trusted?

Mueller, F.; Carter, C.; Whittle, A.

Can Audit (Still) Be Trusted? Thumbnail


C. Carter

A. Whittle


This paper analyses audit as an exemplar of an expert system. The paper explores the premise that systemic trust in audit has been damaged and requires repair, looking specifically at the role of the institutionalized mechanism of the public inquiry. This is examined empirically in relation to the interaction between the heads of the Big Four accounting firms in the UK and the House of Lords Economic Select Committee in the course of the recent parliamentary investigation into the UK audit market, prompted by the global financial crisis. In particular, the paper seeks to understand how there can be transfer of trust, following Sztompka (1999), between different levels and between agents in a system. In this case, the Big Four – as privileged market participants – require re-legitimation from agents that are part of the political and legal apparatus. We therefore argue that re-legitimation of the Big Four’s privileged market position is dependent on transfer of trust.


Mueller, F., Carter, C., & Whittle, A. (2015). Can Audit (Still) Be Trusted?. Organization Studies, 36(9), 1171-1203.

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date Jun 9, 2015
Publication Date 2015
Deposit Date Jun 22, 2020
Publicly Available Date Jun 23, 2020
Journal Organization Studies
Print ISSN 0170-8406
Electronic ISSN 1741-3044
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 36
Issue 9
Pages 1171-1203
Public URL


Accepted Journal Article (987 Kb)

Copyright Statement
Mueller, F., Carter, C. & Whittle, A. (2015). Can Audit (Still) Be Trusted? Organization Studies 9(36): 1171-1203. Copyright © 2015 The Author(s) DOI: 10.1177/0170840615585336

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