We investigate how in-charge auditors emerge as individual big fish within the smaller ponds of non-global network firms (NGNFs) (i.e., firms other than the “Global 7” network firms, or GNFs). These NGNFs engage in institutional work (i.e., acts of creating, maintaining, or disrupting organizational practices) using technology-based audit tools (TBATs) to impact audit quality. Using semi-structured interviews and applying the lens of institutional theory, we identify factors associated with in-charge auditors' propensity to engage in institutional work using TBATs, specifically examining how in-charge auditors engage in actions that contribute to the development, continuance, and/or breach of existing practice (characterized as “creating,” “maintaining,” and “disrupting,” works, respectively). Our findings identify audit firm culture, engagement budgets, and training experiences as drivers of in-charges' ability to pursue institutional work and effect change.

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