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The rise and fall of normative control

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  • Hechter, Michael
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    Abstract

    Widely-publicized breaches of professional norms among accountants in the United States have kindled their interest in the problem of norms and normative control. This article discusses the current literature on norms. It suggests that normative control, which is always problematic, is especially so when agents are subject to the control of two or more principals having divergent interests. It is argued that the agent's compliance will tend to flow to that principal upon whom the agent is most dependent. The analysis is illustrated by the case of the rise and fall of the Arthur Andersen accounting firm.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6VCK-4S08YG5-2/2/592c02a57b3d0a40adcb27256ecfe750
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Accounting, Organizations and Society.

    Volume (Year): 33 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 6 (August)
    Pages: 663-676

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:aosoci:v:33:y:2008:i:6:p:663-676

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/aos

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    1. Jensen, Michael C. & Meckling, William H., 1976. "Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 305-360, October.
    2. Raymond Fisman & Edward Miguel, 2006. "Cultures of Corruption: Evidence From Diplomatic Parking Tickets," NBER Working Papers 12312, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Bearman, Peter, 2005. "Doormen," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 0, number 9780226039695, September.
    4. Akerlof, George A, 1970. "The Market for 'Lemons': Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500, August.
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    Cited by:
    1. Liu, Yanju & Lu, Hai & Veenstra, Kevin, 2014. "Is sin always a sin? The interaction effect of social norms and financial incentives on market participants’ behavior," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 289-307.

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