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Flexible regulation: the birth of a qualitative audit society?
by Rachel Aldred
International Journal of Management Concepts and Philosophy (IJMCP), Vol. 3, No. 1, 2008

 

Abstract: This article discusses the emergence of qualitative techniques of audit. In particular, it focuses on the auditing of the UK policy National Health Service Local Improvement Finance Trust (NHS LIFT), a policy that shifts provision of primary care premises to the corporate sector. In this case, far from qualitative audit representing a pluralist approach it actually signifies the regulatory capture of the National Audit Office (NAO) by powerful private and public sector interests. The article considers how this shift in regulatory techniques – including the adoption of qualitative techniques including snowball sampling, case studies and interviewing – is linked to a change in the auditor's role. Qualitative research can be appropriated and re-shaped by powerful groups.

 

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