A local realisation of auditor independence construct in Poland: Counteracting 'iron curtain' syndrome in academic writing

Katarzyna Kosmala, Pat Sucher

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    17 Citations (Scopus)


    This paper discusses the local construction and realisation of auditor independence in Poland. In the last decade, in the context of European Union (EU) harmonisation and accession processes, the institution of external auditing (and its Anglo-Saxon perspective) has been imported to economies in transition together with what forms professional best practice and the requirements for auditors to be independent. As a result, patterns of conduct (based on Western ideas in terms of best practice) have travelled to the Central and Eastern European (CEE) region but without the recognition that there are 'differences' in local culture and accounting traditions and that professional ethics is historically constructed by somewhat different sets of predispositions (i.e. ideas of freedom in Poland). New levels of perceived normality are established for an emerging professionalism without any reference to cultural constructions within the CEE. It therefore seems relevant to research how auditor independence has been de jure constructed and de facto implemented in economies in transition. The paper addresses the globalisation of constructs, such as auditor independence, through the process of EU harmonisation and local responses. The authors' objective was to enable local, 'other' voices to contribute to the auditor independence debate through interviews with practitioners and regulators and insights from local media. Those silent voices from the CEE economies, in this example, Poland, may contribute to shifting the 'Iron Curtain' syndrome which prevails in Western academic writing about this part of the world. © 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)593-612
    Number of pages20
    JournalCritical Perspectives on Accounting
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2005


    • Auditor independence
    • CEE
    • Emerging profession
    • Local context
    • Poland


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