Adopting the International Financial Reporting Standard for Small and Medium-sized Entities in Saudi Arabia

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Purpose – The paper investigates attitudes towards and perceptions of the adoption of the International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS) for Small and Medium-sized Entities (SME) in Saudi Arabia, immediately before and during the period of adoption.
Design/methodology/approach – The study adopts an interpretive approach, using a new institutional theory framework, drawing on concepts of institutional isomorphism and institutional logics. Research was undertaken using extensive interviews of business owners and managers, accountants, auditors, regulators and others. Interviewees were identified using snowball sampling, and the paper discusses the appropriateness of this method for research in management in MENA countries.
Findings – The adoption of IFRS, and in particular IFRS for SMEs, in Saudi Arabia can be understood best as an example of mimetic isomorphism, as many respondents suggested that the country adopted these standards in order to emulate other countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council and the G20 group of countries.
Practical implications – The study examines issues relating to the adoption of IFRS for SMEs in an emerging economy where adoption was not imposed by international financial institutions.
Originality/value – In addition to being the first study of the adoption of IFRS for SMEs in Saudi Arabia, the paper examines snowball sampling as a particularly useful method in MENA countries.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-40
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Economic and Administrative Sciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jun 2020


  • IFRS for SMEs
  • Financial Reporting
  • Snowball Sampling
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Institutional Logics
  • Accounting Regulation
  • Small and Medium-sized Entities

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