Are the Supreme Audit Institutions Agile? A Cognitive Orientation and Agility Measures

Zbyslaw Dobrowolski
European Research Studies Journal, Volume XXIV, Issue 1, 52-62, 2021
DOI: 10.35808/ersj/1949


Purpose: Public organizations operate in a turbulent and increasingly less predictable environment. According to Wagner's law, they must meet better growing social needs, which increase as civilization progresses. Such a situation creates challenges for supreme audit institutions (SAIs), which are the most important public auditors. They must determine how the public organizations realized programs in the past and what factors may disrupt the realization of plans in the future. No one questions the public auditors' role in financial accountability and management. However, are the public auditors agile? This research aims to resolve this research question. Approach/Methodology/Design: The insights in this paper have emerged iteratively by considering both theory and the empirical case based on public auditors' database analysis and unstructured interviews with randomly selected Polish SAI auditors. Such methodology is consistent with an abductive approach. Findings: Based on available evidence, I offer the potentially radical generalization that SAI's current role is partially useless for society. Therefore, there is a need to implement an agile concept in SAI. Practical Implications: The article brings several valuable pieces of information that can be the base material and reference to further research. Study results can be a starting point of discussion and analysis on each auditor's agility, both from the public and private sectors. The twelve original and universal agile principles relating to the activity of auditors have been formulated. Originality/Value: There are several studies on SAIs; however, it is the first study, which aims to determine whether public auditors are agile, and first, where such agile principles of auditing were created.

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