An explorative research of the conditional approach in professional service firms
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Accountability has become more and more important over the years with calculative and narrative accountability as the two most frequently used forms of accountability. On certain aspects these two forms of accountability hinder professionals to perform their job because of their standardized targets, procedures, protocols, etc. which do not entirely fit the specific settings the professionals have to operate in. Vriens, Vosselman and Groß (2018) have proposed a new form of accountability, the conditional approach which is also a form of intelligent accountability. The conditional approach focusses on, as the name suggests, on the conditions that are needed for professional conduct and should have a better fit with the specific settings the professionals have to operate in. This research explores how the theoretical framework of the conditional approach relates to professionals working in professional service firms. Professionals in medium-sized accounting and law firms were interviewed based on the operationalized conditional approach. The conditional approach has its basis in Freidson (2001) who states professionalism should only occur in its pure form and it should be kept away from the market and managerialism. Whereas nowadays in professional organizations more hybrid forms of professionalism occur where professionalism is more intertwined with the market and managerialism.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen