Maria Scanlon

Maria Scanlon

PhD Thesis Title : Evolution of auditor-client negotiations from the initial audit tender to subsequent audit cycles: A qualitative study of (non)cooperativeness

Supervisor: Professor Niamh Brennan

External Examiner:
Professor Chris Carter
University of Edinburgh


General and audit negotiation researchers largely study negotiation as isolated events. However, many negotiations, including audit negotiations, are recurring events between connected parties. In this context, factors such as respect, commitment and trust may be just as important as the substantive negotiation outcome, thus shaping how parties interact. We interview 31 auditors, company managers and audit committee chairs to understand how auditors and clients negotiate in the audit tender and audit cycle. We mobilize McGinn and Keros’ (2002) negotiation improvisation framework as an analytical lens. By drawing their framework out of a laboratory into a real-world audit setting, we extend their negotiation improvisation typology, adding four new negotiation types and further refining one. In contrast to prior audit research, we find that auditors we interview do not use non-cooperative negotiation improvisations because they anticipate a future relationship and negotiations between the audit firm and company managers/audit committee members.

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