IFRS adoption, institutional change, governance, accounting regulation, IFRS diffusion


This dissertation consists of three separate, but related, studies on the institutionalization of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). The first study examines the relationship between the national variables and the level of IFRS adoption. Theoretical insights regarding the level of national IFRS adoption come from the world-level institutional theory (Meyer et. al., 1997). Archival data are utilized for the study. The findings indicate that countries with weaker national governance structures and lower economic development demonstrate the highest level of commitment to IFRS. Nationalism was found to influence the extent of adoption. The study contributes to IFRS adoption literature by recognizing the multi-level possibilities of IFRS adoption and discovering the factors that drive the degree of IFRS adoption on a national level. The second study examines the ongoing change in the U.S. accounting regulation related to IFRS. The specific event investigated is an historic ruling by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) made in 2007 to accept IFRS filings from foreign issuers. This move toward acceptance of IFRS by the primary U.S. regulator is of academic interest because it represents an opportunity to study regulatory institutional change. The event is analyzed using a qualitative study of the rhetoric found in the comment letters submitted to the SEC. The following theoretical frameworks were used to interpret the qualitative findings: a model of institutional change (Greenwood et. al., 2002), the role of rhetoric in legitimating institutional change (Suddaby & Greenwood, 2005), and the agents of change model (Djelic & Quack, 2003b). The conversation of opponents and proponents through the comment letters revealed the struggle of the participants to legitimize their positions. As expected, rhetorical themes associated with the moral and pragmatic legitimacy of their positions were utilized. Unexpectedly, the shifting site of regulation and the related power of SEC were troubling for proponents and opponents of the change. The study contributes to transnational accounting regulation literature in a number of ways. It presents a synthesis of different theoretical perspectives to investigate institutional change in accounting regulation. It also deepens the understanding of how institutional change is theorized by evaluating the rhetoric of domestic, foreign, and transnational participants. The third study evaluates the diffusion of IFRS in developing countries, using the specific case of Russia. The study investigates whether individual perceptions of various aspects of financial reporting and reforms are associated with IFRS adoption. Particularly of interest is whether there are differences between voluntary adopters and those for which adoption was mandated. The data were obtained from a 2007 survey exploring Russia's transition to IFRS. In general, adopters had a more positive view of transition toward IFRS and financial reforms in Russia. Further, the perceptions of reforms by adopters did not vary based on whether the adoption was required by a national or a foreign mandate. The study contributes both theoretically and empirically to the literature on IFRS in developing countries. Taken together, these three studies focus on issues that have not been addressed previously in the accounting literature. They will advance the international accounting literature on factors related to IFRS adoption, regulations, and influences.


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Graduation Date



Dwyer, Peggy


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Business Administration


Kenneth G. Dixon School of Accounting

Degree Program

Business Administration








Release Date

July 2015

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)

Included in

Accounting Commons