Achieving professional trustworthiness: Communicative expertise and identity work in professional accounting practice

Alan Jones, Samantha Sin

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    Abstract

    In this chapter we focus on accounting professionals as trustees and on their consciousness of their own trustworthiness as a fragile attribute and an interactional achievement. In extended turns taken from interview data, practitioners described challenges they had experienced as recipients of trust from various sources and the efforts they invest in being seen to be trustworthy. In a rapidly changing work environment accounting professionals are “trusted” to add value to a firm’s bottom line; they are simultaneously “trusted” to adhere to the high ethical standards of their profession while also complying with stringent government regulations. It emerges from participants’ self-reflective talk that a range of communicative functions, responsively and strategically implemented, are widely seen as the key to successful practice. They allow practitioners to cope with competing expectations and obligations while constructing and maintaining a trustworthy persona. These discursive abilities coincide with a specific type of personal style, adding up to a stereotypical demeanour that is believed to index, and serve as evidence for, a particular set of embodied dispositions, amounting to a distinctive, and distinctively trusted, type of professional identity, indeed to some extent a habitus (cf. Mauss 1973; Bourdieu 1992; Wacquant 2005).
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationDiscourses of Trust
    Editors C Candlin, J Crichton
    Place of PublicationLondon
    PublisherPalgrave Macmillan Ltd
    Pages151-166
    Edition1
    ISBN (Print)9780230308497
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2013

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