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Noura Abdullah

First Name: Noura
Surname: Abdullah
Department Dept of Accounting and Corporate Governance
Supervisor(s): Dr Evans Elaine , Maria Dyball

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Paper Title

State and Accounting Profession in High Income Oil Exporting Countries: The Case of Kuwait (1973 1985)


This study mobilizes the sociological concept of social change as applied by McKinnon (1983, 1986), and Verma & Gray (2006) in locating changes in the Kuwaiti accounting professional project as part of a broader socio-economic system. The emergence of the accounting profession in Kuwait has a short history, dating back to the early 1940s as a result of oil discovery in the country. Prior to this economic transformation specialized accounting services were not needed due to the simplicity of trading activities (Al-Rehaily, 1992).


The case of Kuwait offers a novel set of circumstances to those previously studied in the accounting literature.

Key literature/theoretical perspective

The key literature reviewed is cross-national accounting professionalization history. In addition, the study draws from research on the socio-economic environment in Kuwait. The second source of literature is from the sociology discipline: mainly, the social change concept.


Primary data was obtained mainly through interviews with pioneering accountants, the founding members of the KAAA, accounting academics from Kuwait University and representatives of the Ministry of Commerce (MOC). In addition, archival materials consisted of state legislations and statistics, minutes of meetings of the KAAA and correspondences between the KAAA and the MOC.


Unlike other professionalization projects, in the early 1970s KAAA members did not attempt to monopolize the market for their services in any form and was in the main a social club in its first decade. However, post the period of crises in the capital market in 1977 and 1982, the KAAA thereafter was in an active relationship with both the state and the academy in the regulation of the profession.


Kuwait; High Income Oil Exporting Countries; Professionalization