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The rise and fall of normative control

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  • Hechter, Michael

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Hechter, Michael, 2008. "The rise and fall of normative control," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 663-676, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:aosoci:v:33:y:2008:i:6:p:663-676
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Henrich, Joseph & Boyd, Robert & Bowles, Samuel & Camerer, Colin & Fehr, Ernst & Gintis, Herbert (ed.), 2004. "Foundations of Human Sociality: Economic Experiments and Ethnographic Evidence from Fifteen Small-Scale Societies," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199262052.
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    3. 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.
    4. Bearman, Peter, 2005. "Doormen," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 0, number 9780226039695, January-M.
    5. repec:cup:apsrev:v:86:y:1992:i:02:p:404-417_08 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Raymond Fisman & Edward Miguel, 2006. "Cultures of Corruption: Evidence From Diplomatic Parking Tickets," NBER Working Papers 12312, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. George A. Akerlof, 1970. "The Market for "Lemons": Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:crpeac:v:35:y:2016:i:c:p:13-34 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. 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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