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    An Inductive Typology of Auditing Research
    research summary posted March 4, 2015 by Jennifer M Mueller-Phillips, tagged 01.0 Standard Setting, 01.02 Changes in Audit Standards 
    An Inductive Typology of Auditing Research
    Practical Implications:

    This study has certain limitations that could be tackled in future research: in particular, the sample is based on published articles from 25 journals, therefore neglecting other journals and “grey literature”. However, this inductive typology could be further applied to present a structured framework of auditing research, and to analyze trends and emerging issues in comparative and/or longitudinal studies, research reports, and the like. Future investigations of the way research themes emerge and evolve should certainly contribute to a better understanding of auditing research.

    For more information on this study, please contact Cedric Lesage.


    Lesage, C. and H. Wechtler. 2011. An Inductive Typology of Auditing Research. Contemporary Accounting Research 29 (2): 487-504. 

    typology; auditing research theme
    Purpose of the Study:

    A global picture of a specific complex domain in social sciences can be provided by typologies. Despite the usefulness and subsequent applications of the typologies proposed in past research, there are four concerns. First, the SK typology is arguably less efficient for structuring auditing research knowledge 30 years later. Second, the studies cited earlier concerned either a single journal, or a single period. Third, previous typologies are concept-driven rather than data-driven classifications. Fourth, they are practice-oriented rather than research-oriented. Taking these main concerns into consideration, the authors implement the study with the purpose to propose an updated, inductive, and comprehensive typology of auditing research. 

    Design/Method/ Approach:

    The study covers 25 main journals over all their years of publication from 1926 to 2005, and uses a computer-based content analysis of the abstracts of 3,143 selected articles. The authors first investigate how the identified keywords have changed since 1926, highlighting three key periods; then they provide a comprehensive typology of 16 major themes in auditing research, with the relative importance, significant keywords and periods, and the main contributory journals presented for each scheme. After that, the authors analyze trends in the popularity of each research theme over time and examine the contribution of individual journals to each theme.


    Compared with previous studies, this study’s typology is the first to be data-driven and covers the whole period between 1926 and 2005, comprising 3,143 auditing research articles. As a result, this new typology of auditing research themes provides a more representative picture of actual academic production than existing typologies, which are all based on a predefined practitioner’s structure. As an illustration, the authors have applied it to analyze trends in research themes and the most contributory journals to auditing research.

    Standard Setting
    Changes in Audit Standards