Change in internal auditing practice
: Evolution, constraints and ingenious solutions

  • Azharudin Ali

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


The main purpose of this research is to investigate if and how the internal auditing (IA) profession and practitioners exercise ingenuity to deal with the constraints faced by them during the development of IA and implementation of IA activities at the societal and organizational level. The key aim is to explore whether, through exercising ingenuity, the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) and IA functions can strengthen and improve IA quality and effectiveness in order to meet the expectations of management, key stakeholders and the changing role of IA, in order to remain relevant and to survive in the challenging environmental conditions. The data for the study was collected and analysed at both societal and organizational levels, including how they interact each other. The theoretical approach employed in this research offers a valuable lens on the relationship between ingenuity, ingenious strategies and constraints. This theoretical framework offers a way to understand how constraints at societal and organizational levels can be resolved over time as IA evolves. The results of this study found three main constraints: the continuously changing IA role; insufficient resources and capabilities; and low IA status and quality. These led to five main ingenuity strategies that emerged at the societal and organizational levels, such as the use of Risk-Based Internal Auditing (RBIA), co-sourcing, talent management, the continuous improvement of IPPF, and forging collaborative partnerships between internal auditing and risk management. These strategies enable the IIA to improve the quality and effectiveness of IA and assist IA functions to tackle the constraints they face, exercise activities that improve organization operations, and add more value to organizations. This study takes the initiative to categorize ingenious solutions according to types of ingenuity and constraint. The findings of this study (see Chapter 7, 8 and 9) also show that constraints can motivate the IA profession and its practitioners to identify and exercise ingenious practices and become a source for creativity and innovative problem-solving.
Date of Award8 Dec 2016
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorMargaret Woods (Supervisor), Alan D Lowe (Supervisor) & Nunung Nurul Hidayah (Supervisor)


  • internal audit
  • ingenuity
  • case study
  • changes in the role of internal auditors

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