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The Audit SocietyRituals of Verification$
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Michael Power

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780198296034

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198296034.001.0001

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Making Audits Work: Auditees and the Auditable Performance

Making Audits Work: Auditees and the Auditable Performance

(p.91) 5 Making Audits Work: Auditees and the Auditable Performance
The Audit Society

Michael Power

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the manner in which auditing works by virtue of actively creating the external organizational environment in which it operates. It also addresses how the consequences of auditing can be schematically explored in terms of decoupling and colonization. The discussion begins by considering some general criticisms of the New Public Management (NPM) and their implications for auditing. Three cases are offered, which show the tension between concepts of auditable performance derived from quality assurance systems and one which is rooted in the specialist judgement and knowledge base of different service professionals. It is important to know the ‘regulatory paradoxes’ which surround audit. The discussion of auditable performance measurement indicates how ‘the anxious ruler tries to make his illusions come true by way of a mixture of minute controls and rigorous isolation’.

Keywords:   auditing, audit works, auditees, auditable performance, decoupling, colonization, New Public Management

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