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Title: Competing rationalities : UK investors' and analysts' perspectives on fair value accounting
Author: Georgiou, Omiros
ISNI:       0000 0004 2738 0728
Awarding Body: University of Essex
Current Institution: University of Essex
Date of Award: 2012
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Neither empirical nor normative research on fair value accounting (FVA) provide rich insights into the usefulness of FVA for investment and credit decisions. Little is also known about what the use of FVA implies to financial statement users' perceptions and practice. Added to these empirical gaps, very few studies have explored FV A, and more generally aspects of financial reporting, within an interpretive theoretical framework. My purpose here is to contribute to sociological understandings of the use of financial reporting information. I thus examine UK investors' and analysts' perceptions of, and reactions to, the usefulness and implications of FVA for financial analysis. I analyse empirical information collected by interviewing 28 investors and analysts in London, observing International Accounting Standards Board-Analyst Representative Group (IASB-ARG) meetings and analysing investors' and analysts' comment letters to IASB's discussion papers and exposure drafts. In exploring why investors and analysts hold such perceptions of FVA, and react in such ways to the use of fair values in financial reports, I draw on Max Weber's types of rationality; namely, theoretical, practical, formal and substantive rationalities that coalesce and compete with each other guiding individuals' perceptions and actions. I also draw on tenets from neoinstitutionalism which allow the study of the symbolic qualities of FVA in addition to its rationalising ones. The concept of the user of financial reports as a neutral technician that has no free will but is able to make rational economic decisions is problematised here. Findings reveal that investors' and analysts' acceptance of, and resistance to, the use of fair values in financial reports are embedded in a social web of beliefs, interests and values. Implications from the analysis for our understandings of accounting standard-setting and for future research endeavours are also discussed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available