An Inductive Typology of Auditing Research

C. LESAGE, H. Wechtler

Contemporary Accounting Research

été 2012, vol. 29, n°2, pp.487-504

Départements : Comptabilité et Contrôle de Gestion

accepté le 9 mai 2011This paper aims to build a typology of auditing research topics. As research in auditing has grown dramatically over the past few decades, it has explored increasingly diverse research questions, raising the need for a clear overall picture of the field. Typologies have already been developed and used by researchers to analyze trends or compare research output in various contexts. However, the existing classifications are limited in scope and use a predefined structure generally grounded in a practitioner's approach, which may for instance underestimate economics-centered research. We develop an inductive typology based on content analysis of 3,143 abstracts from 25 academic journals, from their year of creation up to the year 2005. This inductive typology extends and updates previously published classifications, providing researchers with a clear picture of how the academic literature in auditing has grown and evolved in its topical coverage. In particular, this new typology enables us 1) to highlight three key periods (education, statistics, corporate governance) since 1926; 2) to identify 16 major themes in auditing research; 3) to stress their relative importance and patterns of change; and 4) to analyze the contribution of the leading journals.