Socialization Strategies of the Major Accountancy Companies

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In the past, the accounting companies have seen the famous Enron Debacle as well as other frauds. That is why this study is aimed at examining the way new accountants get incorporated into accounting companies by undergoing the analysys that the socialization strategies used. This research utilizes an interpretive study to review the web pages, brochures, as well as human resource magazines used and implemented by the five chosen accounting companies.


Nowadays, accountancy companies experience a significant shortage of the new accountancy graduates in the United States that result in poor retention rates. These issues have raised concerns and demands to conduct an examination of the recruitment process and the incorporation of the newly arrived graduates in accounting companies.

Because of these problems and an apparent shortage of research of the socialization process in accounting companies, this particular study will put an aim on the analysis of the socialization process of recruiting new members in the Big Five accounting. It will use a qualitative approach to examine the extent of use of socialization strategies in recruiting new accounting members in these firms.

Dirsmith and Covalesk state that many researchers use fail to focus on socialization within accounting firms and only focus on individual socialization. This research paper will go beyond to talk about socialization in accounting firms.

Literature Review

DiMaggio and Powell came up with three mechanisms that are used in this research to determine the socialization strategies used by accounting firms. This includes coercive isomorphism which Forgaty uses to explain the force applied by organizations on individuals; the Mimic forces which individuals experience while trying to adapt to organization's structure; and the normative force which individuals experience as they conform to the professional roles of the organization. These forces are used to analyze the socialization strategies used by the Big Five accounting firms.

Forgaty came up with an institutional theory to the socialization process in public accounting firms which involves a model of the process involved in the recruitment and maintenance of accountants. The model involves some of the social behaviors individuals have to adapt to suit the organization’s goals.

This study draws the ideas from previous research work to bring an understanding to the socialization strategies of major accountancy firms.

Research Methodology

Morgan argues that learning the culture of an organization needs the observation of its day to day functioning. This leads to the use of an interpretive approach in the study to examine the behaviors of the Big Five accounting firms in the US.

Direct observation of behavior, unobtrusive approach to examine brochures, images, language used and themes are used in the research. The latent content analysis is also used to rate the importance of symbolism, language, and power in the use of socialization strategies in accounting firms.

The results reveal that coercive isomorphism – through training, mentoring and experience are used in the Big Five accounting firms. The mimetic force is reflected on teamwork and knowledge sharing, while the normative force is seen in the professional behavior workers should portray.


The study shows that accounting firms use coercive, mimetic and normative forces as their socialization strategies to recruit new accountants. The latent content analysis shows the method used shows that the firms apply strong socialization processes in recruiting and retaining accounting staff. The process seems more engaging for individuals since they bind themselves to professionalism and interests of the organization. The process seems to be intense on accountancy firms

March 10, 2023

Sociology Business

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