Purpose - This paper aims to advance understanding of the disciplinary decision-making process underpinning the professional ethics machinery employed by professional accounting organisations, using elements of francophone organisational analysis to examine the influence of the key formal organisational components established by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland (ICAI) to administer its disciplinary decision-making process up to December 1999. Design/methodology/approach - The paper uses evidence gathered from a series of in-depth interviews with members of the ICAI disciplinary and investigation committees. Findings - Illuminates the internal tensions and conflicts permeating the disciplinary decision-making process of the ICAI and the influence key organisational components have on resolving these conflicts through their encouragement of decision making driven by a preferred reasoning or logic of action. Research limitations/implications - The evidence presented questions the public interest proclamations of the ICAI with respect to its disciplinary procedures pre-December 1999. It further exposes the tensions between profession protection and society protection motives in the disciplinary decision making of accounting bodies. Originality/value - This paper represents a first attempt at getting inside the disciplinary decision-making process of a professional accounting body to examine the process using the voices of process participants.
- Decision making
- Professional ethics