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Accounting and the ethics challenge: Re-membering the professional body

Cowton, Christopher J. (2009) Accounting and the ethics challenge: Re-membering the professional body. Accounting and Business Research, 39 (3). pp. 177-190. ISSN 0001-4788

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    Based on the P.D. Leake Lecture given at Chartered Accountants’ Hall in May 2007,
    this paper looks beyond recent financial reporting ‘scandals’ to consider the ‘standing
    challenge’ that ethics represents for accountants and the professional bodies that
    represent them. It examines the notion of a profession and argues for a position that
    recognizes both the potential benefits of professionalization and the self-serving
    tendencies to which professions can be prone. Such a position entails a view that the
    outcome of professionalization for society is a contingent matter rather than an
    inevitability (whether positive or negative) and therefore something that is worth
    attempting to influence. In developing the argument, two major areas from the
    business ethics/corporate social responsibility literature, oriented towards business
    enterprises but also of relevance to professional bodies, are reviewed: whether being
    ethical ‘pays’ in financial terms; and whether formal codes are useful in promoting
    ethical behaviour. The paper concludes by positing three models of the professional
    body and contending for a renewed notion of membership if professional bodies are to
    function as effective ‘moral communities’.

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    Item Type: Article
    Uncontrolled Keywords: financial ethics; accounting; chartered accountants;governance
    Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
    H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5601 Accounting
    Schools: The Business School
    The Business School > Financial Ethics and Governance Research Group
    Related URLs:

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    Depositing User: Graham Stone
    Date Deposited: 06 May 2010 14:09
    Last Modified: 27 Sep 2013 11:08

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