The relevance of international accounting standards for developing countries : the case of IAS 41 in Thailand
This thesis reports a study of the relevance of international accounting standards for developing countries by investigating the introduction of lAS 41 (Agriculture) in Thailand. Thailand has a deep involvement in the international standard setting process, particularly in working on E65. Agriculture is a significant part of the Thai economy. Theories of standard setting are examined in this thesis; namely the political nature of standard setting, the theory of economic and financial consequences, agency theory and institutional legitimacy theory. Theoretical considerations and particular institutional characteristics of Thailand are applied to formulate hypotheses for testing and to indicate exploratory issues having no prior expectation. The contribution to knowledge is: (1) to contribute to the literature on international accounting harmonisation by examining the processes that make lASs relevant to developing countries, using the case of lAS 41 in Thailand; (2) to contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of factors influencing the extent of adopting lASs in a developing country; and (3) to contribute to the exploration of the relative applicability of standard setting theories in relation to international accounting standards and a developing country. This study uses three research methods to allow triangulation of results: (1) it examines lobbying of the IASC to investigate the involvement of developing countries in setting lASs and it applies survey research obtained from (2) interviews and (3) questionnaires sent to those involved in setting Thai accounting standards and in using financial reports. Key findings are: The political nature of standard setting and the nature of economic and financial consequences provide the dominant theoretical framework to explain the reported results. Developing countries are less effective in lobbying than are developed countries and self-interest is a strong factor. The thesis reports the tensions and dilemmas facing a national standard setter wishing to harmonise with international standard setting, whilst also having regard local needs.