The rise and fall of normative control

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)663-676
Number of pages14
JournalAccounting, Organizations and Society
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 1 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Accounting
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Information Systems and Management


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