Accountability and Ethics in Dutch accountancy organizations

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This thesis discusses how and why accountability and ethics relate and how they influence behaviour in accountancy firms in the Netherlands. An interpretive field study is carried out in two separate but similar accountancy organizations to in this way come to an answer to the main question; how are accountability and ethics related and how do they have an influence on behaviour in Company X and Y? Both organizations are significantly influenced through regulations which clearly have a major impact on the enactment of accountability and ethics within either organization. As a consequence of these regulations the main focus of accountability within both organizations are calculable instrumental measures. Narrative accountability is used on the background to start conversations with employees based on information contained within documents that are used as calculable measures. Through the regulations that affect accountability, the enactment of ethics in the two organizations is also largely based on contracts. Company X in particular however does try to introduce some form of relational response-ability and virtue ethics through creating an internal culture of trust. This leads to questions regarding accountability and ethics, as it is questionable whether accountancy organizations would enact accountability and ethics in this way were it not for the huge influence that the increasing regulations have on these organizations.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen