Publication Details

This article was originally published as: Irvine, H, Corporate creep: an institutional view of consultancies in a non-profit organisation, Australian Accounting Review, 2007, 17 (41), 13-25. Copyright 2007CPA Australia. The authors' manuscript version has been reproduced with permission from CPA Australia for educational purposes only and may not be further made available or distributed without permission. If reproduction is sought, permission to use the original article must be obtained from the Australian Accounting Review.


Professional consultants play a role in mobilising the “creep” of corporate practices from the for-profit sector, through the public sector and into the nonprofit sector. As well as legitimising these practices, consultancies illustrate the power of professional groups to institute change across sectors. In spite of this, the proliferation of consultancies is under-researched, particularly in the increasingly sophisticated nonprofit sector. In one year, one religious/charitable organisation (RCO) commissioned no fewer than five consultancies. This study provides insights about the process by which the consultancies were commissioned, conducted and adopted as RCO grappled with the applicability of corporate practices and its ability to implement them.