Managing Knowledge Standards at the Periphery of Professional Knowledge Development: The Case of the Philippine Accountancy Profession and International Accounting Standards Harmonisation

Erwin Francisco Rafael


This article is a case study of how a peripheral professional group, the Philippine accountancy profession, managed its knowledge standards to strengthen its occupational authority despite lack of control on standards development. It focuses on explaining the decision to harmonise the Philippine Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) with the International Accounting Standards (IAS), which overturned postcolonial dependence on the US GAAP as a model for standards development. The harmonisation of the Philippine GAAP with the IAS is the outcome of a complex mix of structural changes in the core of the accounting standards development field, resource constraints on domestic accounting standard-setters, and the local professional group’s efforts to advance its professional project. Local conditions that favour adoption of a model and the active pursuit of occupational authority by local actors are just as crucial as pressures from the external global environment in decisions leading to harmonisation with international standards.


peripheral professions; knowledge standards; standards harmonisation; occupational authority

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