Turning Vice into Virtue: Institutional Work and Professional Misconduct

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

Resumé

Why do professionals engage in or aid misconduct, rather than rejecting it as a threat to their legitimacy and labor market survival? This article contributes to the scholarly agenda by drawing on an ethnographic study of professionals who facilitate offshore tax avoidance for the ultra-wealthy. This form of expert advisory work has become highly controversial, and is increasingly classified as a form of professional wrongdoing. Building on theories of institutional work and categorization, the study theorizes practitioners’ responses to field-level legitimacy threats. Specifically, the article models a process in which misconduct is recategorized in terms of the core norms that underpin professional legitimacy. Through this process, practitioners create institutional change by altering the way they see themselves and their work, transforming the ‘vice’ of tax avoidance into the professional ‘virtues’ of public service and expert neutrality. This model advances knowledge compared to previous research on professional misconduct, which was situated primarily at the organization level, and responds to calls for analysis of ‘agentic self-categorization’ processes in creating the micro-foundations for legitimacy in the professions.
Why do professionals engage in or aid misconduct, rather than rejecting it as a threat to their legitimacy and labor market survival? This article contributes to the scholarly agenda by drawing on an ethnographic study of professionals who facilitate offshore tax avoidance for the ultra-wealthy. This form of expert advisory work has become highly controversial, and is increasingly classified as a form of professional wrongdoing. Building on theories of institutional work and categorization, the study theorizes practitioners’ responses to field-level legitimacy threats. Specifically, the article models a process in which misconduct is recategorized in terms of the core norms that underpin professional legitimacy. Through this process, practitioners create institutional change by altering the way they see themselves and their work, transforming the ‘vice’ of tax avoidance into the professional ‘virtues’ of public service and expert neutrality. This model advances knowledge compared to previous research on professional misconduct, which was situated primarily at the organization level, and responds to calls for analysis of ‘agentic self-categorization’ processes in creating the micro-foundations for legitimacy in the professions.
SprogEngelsk
TidsskriftHuman Relations
Antal sider33
ISSN0018-7267
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 30 okt. 2018

Bibliografisk note

Epub ahead of print. Published online: 30. October 2018

Emneord

  • Category work
  • Institutional theory
  • Professional misconduct
  • Tax avoidance

Citer dette

@article{d5392586ed2243e792e24f9795ff7cf1,
title = "Turning Vice into Virtue: Institutional Work and Professional Misconduct",
abstract = "Why do professionals engage in or aid misconduct, rather than rejecting it as a threat to their legitimacy and labor market survival? This article contributes to the scholarly agenda by drawing on an ethnographic study of professionals who facilitate offshore tax avoidance for the ultra-wealthy. This form of expert advisory work has become highly controversial, and is increasingly classified as a form of professional wrongdoing. Building on theories of institutional work and categorization, the study theorizes practitioners’ responses to field-level legitimacy threats. Specifically, the article models a process in which misconduct is recategorized in terms of the core norms that underpin professional legitimacy. Through this process, practitioners create institutional change by altering the way they see themselves and their work, transforming the ‘vice’ of tax avoidance into the professional ‘virtues’ of public service and expert neutrality. This model advances knowledge compared to previous research on professional misconduct, which was situated primarily at the organization level, and responds to calls for analysis of ‘agentic self-categorization’ processes in creating the micro-foundations for legitimacy in the professions.",
keywords = "Category work, Institutional theory, Professional misconduct, Tax avoidance, Category work, Institutional theory, Professional misconduct, Tax avoidance",
author = "Brooke Harrington",
note = "Epub ahead of print. Published online: 30. October 2018",
year = "2018",
month = "10",
day = "30",
doi = "10.1177/0018726718793930",
language = "English",
journal = "Human Relations",
issn = "0018-7267",
publisher = "Sage Publications Ltd.",

}

Turning Vice into Virtue : Institutional Work and Professional Misconduct. / Harrington, Brooke.

I: Human Relations, 30.10.2018.

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Turning Vice into Virtue

T2 - Human Relations

AU - Harrington,Brooke

N1 - Epub ahead of print. Published online: 30. October 2018

PY - 2018/10/30

Y1 - 2018/10/30

N2 - Why do professionals engage in or aid misconduct, rather than rejecting it as a threat to their legitimacy and labor market survival? This article contributes to the scholarly agenda by drawing on an ethnographic study of professionals who facilitate offshore tax avoidance for the ultra-wealthy. This form of expert advisory work has become highly controversial, and is increasingly classified as a form of professional wrongdoing. Building on theories of institutional work and categorization, the study theorizes practitioners’ responses to field-level legitimacy threats. Specifically, the article models a process in which misconduct is recategorized in terms of the core norms that underpin professional legitimacy. Through this process, practitioners create institutional change by altering the way they see themselves and their work, transforming the ‘vice’ of tax avoidance into the professional ‘virtues’ of public service and expert neutrality. This model advances knowledge compared to previous research on professional misconduct, which was situated primarily at the organization level, and responds to calls for analysis of ‘agentic self-categorization’ processes in creating the micro-foundations for legitimacy in the professions.

AB - Why do professionals engage in or aid misconduct, rather than rejecting it as a threat to their legitimacy and labor market survival? This article contributes to the scholarly agenda by drawing on an ethnographic study of professionals who facilitate offshore tax avoidance for the ultra-wealthy. This form of expert advisory work has become highly controversial, and is increasingly classified as a form of professional wrongdoing. Building on theories of institutional work and categorization, the study theorizes practitioners’ responses to field-level legitimacy threats. Specifically, the article models a process in which misconduct is recategorized in terms of the core norms that underpin professional legitimacy. Through this process, practitioners create institutional change by altering the way they see themselves and their work, transforming the ‘vice’ of tax avoidance into the professional ‘virtues’ of public service and expert neutrality. This model advances knowledge compared to previous research on professional misconduct, which was situated primarily at the organization level, and responds to calls for analysis of ‘agentic self-categorization’ processes in creating the micro-foundations for legitimacy in the professions.

KW - Category work

KW - Institutional theory

KW - Professional misconduct

KW - Tax avoidance

KW - Category work

KW - Institutional theory

KW - Professional misconduct

KW - Tax avoidance

UR - https://sfx-45cbs.hosted.exlibrisgroup.com/45cbs?url_ver=Z39.88-2004&url_ctx_fmt=info:ofi/fmt:kev:mtx:ctx&ctx_enc=info:ofi/enc:UTF-8&ctx_ver=Z39.88-2004&rfr_id=info:sid/sfxit.com:azlist&sfx.ignore_date_threshold=1&rft.object_id=954921344196&rft.object_portfolio_id=&svc.holdings=yes&svc.fulltext=yes

U2 - 10.1177/0018726718793930

DO - 10.1177/0018726718793930

M3 - Journal article

JO - Human Relations

JF - Human Relations

SN - 0018-7267

ER -