Moral maturity in accounting


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En el marco del congreso internacional de Economía social celebrado en EOI Sevilla y en colaboración con Goldsmiths College, John Francis Mckernan presenta un trabajo llevado con Minmin Du, University of Glasgow, sobre moralidad en la contabilidad. Destaca, usando el modelo de Dreyfus, que la moralidad se funda sobre las intuiciones y no sobre las normas.

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  • Species of moral intuition: harm/care, fairness/reciprocity, authority/respect Culturally mediated.
  • Moral maturity in accounting

    1. 1. Moral Maturity in Accounting John Francis McKernan & Minmin Du The University of Glasgow
    2. 2. Reason, Intuition & Expertise <ul><li>Work at a very early stage. </li></ul><ul><li>Intend experiments. </li></ul><ul><li>Interviews & observation (begun). </li></ul><ul><li>Consideration of literature of “expertise” including audit expertise (begun). </li></ul>
    3. 3. Bourdieu – An initial reflection <ul><li>“ So long as he remains unaware of the limits inherent in his point of view on the object, the anthropologist is condemned to adopt unwittingly for his own use the representation of action which is forced on agents or groups when they lack practical mastery of a highly valued competence and have to provide themselves with an explicit and at least semi-formalized substitute for it in the form of a repertoire of rules … &quot;. (Bourdieu, 1972, p. 2) </li></ul>
    4. 4. Overview <ul><li>Expertise & intuition </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Dreyfus phenomenological model of the development of expertise. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Moral Expertise - Haidt’s model </li></ul><ul><li>The Legitimacy of Intuitive Judgement </li></ul><ul><li>Audit expertise </li></ul><ul><li>Conclusions </li></ul>
    5. 5. Dreyfus Model Phenomenological justification <ul><li>&quot;You need not merely accept our word but should check to see if the process by which you yourself acquired various skills reveals a similar pattern&quot; (Dreyfus and Dreyfus, 1986, p. 20). </li></ul><ul><li>We should beware of making the typical philosophical mistake of reading the structure of deliberation and choice back into our account of everyday coping. (Dreyfus, 1991, p. 239). </li></ul>
    6. 6. Dreyfus Model Developmental – 5 stages <ul><li>Novice </li></ul><ul><li>Advanced beginner </li></ul><ul><li>Competence </li></ul><ul><li>Proficiency </li></ul><ul><li>Expertise </li></ul>
    7. 7. Dreyfus Model D evelopmental – cognitive and affective <ul><li>The novice: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Normally, the instruction process begins with the instructor decomposing the task environment into context-free features which the beginner can recognize without benefit of experience. The beginner is then given rules for determining actions on the basis of these features, …” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(Dreyfus, 1991, p.240) </li></ul></ul>
    8. 8. Dreyfus Model D evelopmental – cognitive and affective <ul><li>The advanced beginner: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ As the novice gains experience actually coping with real situations, she begins to note, or an instructor points out, perspicuous examples of meaningful additional components of the situation. After seeing a sufficient number of examples, the student learns to recognize them. Instructional maxims now can refer to these new situational aspects.” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(Dreyfus, 1991, p.240) </li></ul></ul>
    9. 9. Dreyfus Model D evelopmental – cognitive and affective <ul><li>Competence: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ With increasing experience, the number of features and aspects to be taken into account becomes overwhelming. To cope with this information explosion, the performer learns to adopt a hierarchical view of decision-making. By first choosing a plan, goal or perspective which organizes the situation and by then examining only the small set of features and aspects that she has learned are relevant given that plan, the performer can simplify and improve her performance.” (Dreyfus, 1991, pp.240 - 241) </li></ul></ul>
    10. 10. Dreyfus Model D evelopmental – cognitive and affective <ul><li>Competence involves: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ detached planning, conscious assessment of elements that are salient with respect to the plan, and analytical rule-guided choice of action, followed by an emotionally involved experience of the outcome.” (Dreyfus, 1991, p.241) </li></ul></ul>
    11. 11. Dreyfus Model Developmental – cognitive and affective <ul><li>Transitions from competence to proficiency </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Having experienced many emotion­laden situations, chosen plans in each, and having obtained vivid, emotional demonstrations of the adequacy or inadequacy of the plan, the performer involved in the world of the skill &quot;notices,&quot; or &quot;is struck by&quot; a certain plan, goal or perspective. No longer is the spell of involvement broken by detached conscious planning. (Dreyfus, 1991, p.242) </li></ul></ul>
    12. 12. Dreyfus Model Developmental – cognitive and affective <ul><li>“ It seems that beginners make judgments using strict rules and features, but that with talent and a great deal of involved experience the beginner develops into an expert who sees intuitively what to do without applying rules and making judgments at all. The intellectualist tradition has given an accurate description of the beginner and of the expert facing an unfamiliar situation, but normally an expert does not deliberate. She does not reason. She does not even act deliberately. She simply spontaneously does what has normally worked and, naturally, it normally works. (Dreyfus, 1991, p. 243) </li></ul>
    13. 13. Dreyfus Model <ul><li>involved versus detached deliberation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ in familiar but problematic situations, rather than standing back and applying abstract principles, the expert deliberates about the appropriateness of her intuitions. ” (Dreyfus, 1991, p.248) </li></ul></ul>
    14. 14. Haidt – Moral expertise <ul><li>The primacy of the intuition / affect </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Moral reasoning usually post hoc, and more like the lawyer building a case than ideal scientist seeking truth </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Affect drives but does not entirely dictate; three ways to override an intuitive judgement: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Conscious deliberate reasoning (rare) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Reframe and trigger different intuitions (rare) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Interactions with others who give new arguments and evidence and trigger new intuitions and reasoning. </li></ul></ul></ul>
    15. 15. Quality and legitimacy of intuitions <ul><li>Evidence suggests that intuitive decisions are often better than deliberate ones </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ empirical studies show that when presented with high dimensional decision problems that require the integration of many different kinds of information, those who attempt to decide entirely by conscious rule based deliberation often ignore all but a few dimensions of the decision problem.” (Woodward & Allman, 2007, p. 194). </li></ul></ul><ul><li>But can they be trusted? </li></ul>
    16. 16. Dreyfus Model <ul><li>Normative implications: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ bureaucratic societies, … , there is the danger that expertise may be diminished through over-reliance on calculative rationality” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(Dreyfus & Dreyfus, 2005, p. 779) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We should restrain our demand for rationalizations / explanations from experts. </li></ul></ul>
    17. 17. Expertise & audit standard setting <ul><li>The regulator, unaware of the limits of his position, “constitutes practical activity as an object of observation and analysis, a representation” (Bourdieu, 1972, p. 2). </li></ul><ul><li>The representation of the anthropologist come regulator then turn back on practice, made object, and deform it. </li></ul>
    18. 18. Intuition, expertise & audit <ul><li>“ Perhaps the gravest threat to the auditing profession is the view that the Auditor’s world is objective and concrete, and that an auditor's behavior should be strictly regularized through a formal structuring of audit work processes or a narrow socialization of the individual. Against this threat, auditors should direct a countervailing effort toward further understanding the concept of judgment while keeping up appearances” </li></ul><ul><li>(Dirsmith et al., 1985, p. 63) </li></ul>
    19. 19. Intuition, expertise & audit <ul><li>“ Indeed, the history of sampling in its broadest sense is the history of a set of intuitively based practices in search of both theoretical rationalisations and programmatic mobilization” (Power, 1992, p. 41). </li></ul>
    20. 20. Quality and legitimacy of expert intuitions <ul><li>Can intuitions & experts be trusted? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Its undermining to demand explanations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Expert intuition – track record </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Situations lacking feedback (particularly problematic) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Plain fact versus anthropocentric fact (the latter more problematic) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Hidden bias, prejudice, ideology </li></ul>
    21. 21. Bourdieu – A closing reflection <ul><li>“ The knowledge we shall call p henomenological … sets out to make explicit the truth of primary experience of the social world, i.e. all that is inscribed in the relationship of familiarity with the familiar environment, the unquestioning apprehension of the social world which, by definition, does not reflect on itself and excludes the question of the conditions of its own possibility.”   </li></ul><ul><li>(Bourdieu, 1972, p. 3) </li></ul>
    22. 22. Bourdieu – A closing reflection <ul><li>“ The knowledge we shall term objectivist (of which structuralist hermeneutics is a particular case) constructs the objective relations (e.g. economic or linguistic) which structure practice and representations of practice, i.e., in particular, primary knowledge, practical and tacit, of the familiar world. This construction presupposes a break with primary knowledge, whose tacitly assumed presuppositions give the social world its self-evident, natural character. </li></ul><ul><li>(Bourdieu, 1972, p. 3) </li></ul>
    23. 23. Bourdieu – A closing reflection <ul><li>“ It is only on condition that it poses the question which the doxic experience of the social world excludes by definition - the question of the (particular) conditions making that experience possible - that objectivist knowledge can establish both the structures of the social world and the objective truth of primary experience as experience denied explicit knowledge of those structures.   </li></ul><ul><li>(Bourdieu, 1972, p. 3) </li></ul>
    24. 24. Expertise & Culture <ul><li>In the processes and experiences through which we become expert we may transform / deepen even our cultural / historical / biographical embeddedness but surely Dreyfus’ suggestion that we can transcend our embeddedness in this process goes too far / is wrong.   </li></ul>
    25. 25. Expertise - this morning <ul><li>James Carrier </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Concern with the (de)politicization of expertise (Weber, Habermas, Foucault). </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Alice Bryer </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The inaccessibility thesis - expertise (management) and the limits of accountability and the social. Democracy in tension with expertise. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Christine Cooper </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Health & Safety expertise inform the workers and clash of experts. Who counts as an expert – a matter of struggle. </li></ul></ul>