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  • Muzio Faulconbridge Gabbioneta_Greenwood (final) onlinbe version

    Rights statement: This material has been published in Organizational Wrongdoing edited by Donald Palmer ... [et al.] This version is free to view and download for personal use only. Not for re-distribution, re-sale or use in derivative works. © Cambridge University Press http://www.cambridge.org/us/academic/subjects/management/organisation-studies/organizational-wrongdoing-key-perspectives-and-new-directions?format=HB

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Bad barrels and bad cellars: a ‘boundaries’ perspective on professional misconduct

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/Proceedings - With ISBN/ISSNChapter

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Publication date21/07/2016
Host publicationOrganizational wrongdoing: key perspectives and new directions
EditorsDonald Palmer, Kristin Smith-Crowe, Royston Greenwood
Place of PublicationCambridge
PublisherCambridge University Press
Pages141-175
Number of pages35
ISBN (Print)9781107117716
Original languageEnglish

Publication series

NameCambridge Companions to Management
PublisherCambridge University Press

Abstract

Professions have traditionally been associated with a public safeguard role, with their superior ethical standards usually invoked to justify their occupational privileges and special labour market position. As such professionals have been thought to act as 'social trustees' (Brint, 1994) of key skills for the benefit of society as a whole or as 'gatekeepers' (Coffee, 2006) who play a fundamental role in maintaining the integrity of broader institutions. Yet recent scandals from Enron, to Parmalat and the recent financial crisis call into question the fiduciary role played by the professions. Thus, rather than as gatekeepers and social trustees, professions may have acted, perhaps unwittingly, as accomplices if not masterminds in recent episodes of corporate wrongdoing and malpractice. This chapter focuses on the role of professions in processes of malpractice and approaches this through the consideration of a number of key boundaries which frame professional practice and the tensions, conflicts and opportunities or temptations these generate. These include: 1) internal divisions within professional services firms between different services and the conflict of interests these may produce (thus the tensions between auditing and consulting within large accountancy firms), 2) the relationship between professional advisers and external stakeholders such as clients and increasingly financial investors, and the capture dynamics which may be at play here, 3) the boundaries which exist between different firms and professions engaged in gatekeeping functions and the systemic myopia that this allows and 4) the existence national and regional boundaries between jurisdictions with different standards of professional practice and regulatory oversight.

Bibliographic note

This material has been published in Organizational Wrongdoing edited by Donald Palmer ... [et al.] This version is free to view and download for personal use only. Not for re-distribution, re-sale or use in derivative works. © Cambridge University Press http://www.cambridge.org/us/academic/subjects/management/organisation-studies/organizational-wrongdoing-key-perspectives-and-new-directions?format=HB