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For the sake of serving the broader community: sea piloting compared with auditing
School of Business and Informatics, University College of Borås, Borås, Sweden; GRI, School of Economics 5 and Commercial Law at Göteborg University, Göteborg, Sweden. (Ceroc)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1356-8741
2007 (English)In: Critical Perspectives on Accounting, ISSN 1045-2354, E-ISSN 1095-9955, Vol. 18, no 7, p. 781-804Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Discussions concerning ethics and the auditing profession tend to end up in two different standpoints: create stronger regulations or increase individual morals. In this article we will argue for a third standpoint that emphasizes the importance of belonging to a community, to a broader society.

The problem, as we see it, has to do with the separation of the aims of the auditing profession from those of the broader community that it is intended to serve. This is the result of the development of global auditing companies and standard-setting bodies that use bureaucratic control, regulatory frameworks, fragmentation and a codification of knowledge. Applying limited notions of community or virtue ethics on collectives like professions is of little help here since it tends to create self-justificatory professions disconnected from the broader society [Neu D, T’aerien R. Remembering the past: ethics and the Canadian Chartered Accounting profession, 1911–1925. Critical Perspectives on Accounting 2000;11(2):193–212].

In our argumentation for a wider mission on serving the broader community we use the concepts “occupational community” and “organization” [van Maanen J, Barley SR. Occupational communities: cultures and controls in organizations. Research in Organizational Behavior 1984;6:287–365] together with the term “for-the-sake-of”. Actions taken “for-the-sake-of” has a point or meaning that is wider than what is good for the individual or limited community. We compare the auditing profession with the traditional sea piloting profession in Sweden, which is characterized by a strong occupational community and members who strive to act “for-the-sake-of” serving the broader society by facilitating safe sea travel. We wind up by discussing the possibilities the state, market and community have in encouraging acts “for-the-sake-of” serving the broader community.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2007. Vol. 18, no 7, p. 781-804
Keywords [en]
serving the broader society, auditors, sea pilotos, occupational community
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-40695DOI: 10.1016/j.cpa.2005.12.004Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-34548389321OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-40695DiVA, id: diva2:778501
Available from: 2015-01-10 Created: 2015-01-10 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved

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Publisher's full textScopushttp://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S104523540600075X

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Forsberg, Per

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