Voices within the winds of change: The demise of KMG Kendons

Rachel F. Baskerville, Binh Bui, Carolyn J. Fowler*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


During the 1970s and 1980s, the accounting professional environment underwent major changes. This case study, largely based on oral history narratives of retired partners, focuses on KMG Kendons, a well-known and respected New Zealand national accounting firm that did not survive the 1980s. Utilising organisational change-focused theories, longitudinal archival data is used to examine how an organisation, and two competing sets of institutions within it, interact with these professional environmental changes, and then trigger significant deinstitutionalisation processes. This study also seeks to determine whether the demise of KMG Kendons might have been predicted, and thus prevented. It is argued that strong leadership, strategic direction, and a strong organisational culture and identity are critical factors in firm survival; and if these had been present at KMG Kendons, it may have survived.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-52
Number of pages22
JournalAccounting History
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Big 8
  • accounting
  • deinstitutionalisation
  • KMG Kendons
  • professional firms


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