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Financial scandals, accounting change and the role of accounting academics: A perspective from North America


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  • David Cooper
  • Jeff Everett
  • Dean Neu
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    This paper examines the responses of North American academics to the recent wave of accounting and audit scandals, pointing out that the main response has either been to appeal to a moralistic concept of ethics or to portray them as isolated incidents or indicative of problems elsewhere (e.g. relating to investment advice). We suggest that these responses fail to address the social and political context of accounting. Drawing on Bourdieu's framework for analysing academic work, the paper locates North American accounting academia, even though it is quite fragmented and diverse, in the Corporate University, and the allegiances of North American accounting academics to the accounting industry. However, recent scandals also provide an opportunity to intervene effectively and produce meaningful change. Through collective action, perhaps through the Association for Integrity in Accounting, we offer suggestions for interventions to produce substantive and worthwhile changes in teaching and research.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal European Accounting Review.

    Volume (Year): 14 (2005)
    Issue (Month): 2 ()
    Pages: 373-382

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    Handle: RePEc:taf:euract:v:14:y:2005:i:2:p:373-382

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    Keywords: Accounting scandals; Association for Integrity in Accounting; symbolic capital; accounting ethics; accounting interventions; accounting academia;


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    Cited by:
    1. Grant Samkin, 2010. "Accounting in the media," Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 7(3), pages 237-248, August.
    2. Morales, Jérémy & Farjaudon, Anne-Laure, 2012. "In search of consensus : The role of accounting in the definition and reproduction of dominant interests," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/9538, Paris Dauphine University.
    3. Farjaudon, Anne-Laure & Morales, Jérémy, 2013. "In search of consensus: The role of accounting in the definition and reproduction of dominant interests," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/10730, Paris Dauphine University.
    4. Irene Gordon, 2011. "Lessons to be Learned: An Examination of Canadian and U.S. Financial Accounting and Auditing Textbooks for Ethics/Governance Coverage," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 101(1), pages 29-47, June.
    5. Humphrey, Christopher & Loft, Anne & Woods, Margaret, 2009. "The global audit profession and the international financial architecture: Understanding regulatory relationships at a time of financial crisis," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 34(6-7), pages 810-825, August.


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