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The “Generalized Other” or How to Make its Voice Heard in an Audit Committee

Abstract : This article endeavours to determine in which extent and in which context the audit committee directors express their preferences and their points of view to the financial team members and to external and internal auditors, in order that they can have an influence on the quality of financial statements or on the robustness of firm's internal control. This work follows a comprehensive approach from the analysis of 27 interviews led with some attendees of the audit committee meetings of CAC 40 companies (Paris Stock Exchange). Two types of collaboration are possible between the attendees: a “contrived collegiality” or a “culture of collaboration” (Hargreaves, 1994). The “contrived collegiality” seems to be the start situation of an audit committee working. This “contrived collegiality” leads to mistrust such as it does not allow the directors to express themselves in an audible manner. The audit committee chairman plays the major role in the passage from a “contrived collegiality” to a “culture of collaboration”. It is the chairman who creates informal meetings and shows his receptiveness. It allows the audit committee to have a possible way to express itself and to be heard. Nevertheless this “culture of collaboration” implies that the directors have only a power of suggesting. The suggestion can be effective because it has an influence on the “generalized other” (Mead, 1934) of others attendees. “The generalized other” acts as a censor.
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Submitted on : Monday, March 1, 2010 - 6:02:58 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, October 14, 2020 - 4:01:05 AM
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  • HAL Id : halshs-00460620, version 1



Tiphaine Compernolle, Chrystelle Richard. The “Generalized Other” or How to Make its Voice Heard in an Audit Committee. La place de la dimension européenne dans la Comptabilité Contrôle Audit, May 2009, Strasbourg, France. pp.CD ROM. ⟨halshs-00460620⟩



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