Alasdair MacIntyre′s book After Virtue is used as the basis to reflect on possibilities for virtue in accounting and some problems in its realisation. MacIntyre advances a neo‐Aristotelean account of virtue that is grounded in practice and which focuses on the unique internal rewards of a practice. Accounting is suggested to be a practice in this sense and five possible internal rewards are identified: honesty, concern for the economic status of others, sensitivity to the value of both co‐operation and conflict, the communicative character of accounting practice, and the dissemination of economic information. Several potential problems in realising virtue are then discussed including the tendency for external rewards to dominate internal rewards, the corrupting power of institutions, and a confusion between laws (rules) and virtues.
Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal – Emerald Publishing
Published: Dec 1, 1990
Keywords: Accounting; Accountancy; Ethics
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