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In the name of the client: the service ethic in two professional services firms

Anderson-Gough, Fiona, Grey, Christopher and Robson, Keith 2000. In the name of the client: the service ethic in two professional services firms. Human Relations 53 (9) , pp. 1151-1174. 10.1177/0018726700539003

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Abstract

In this article we explore how notions of the client and client service are constructed within two `Big 5' professional services firms. Drawing upon a range of qualitative materials, we argue that the client is a central term in the socialization of trainee accountants within these firms and the emergence of their professional identities. We illustrate this with reference to recruitment, appraisal and daily work practices. We then move on to consider the power effects of a discourse that privileges the client in this way by attending to what is `written out' of such a discourse. We suggest that management control, friends, family and the profit motive are all written out. However, we also point to what such a discourse enables, both materially and symbolically, for the trainees in the study.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: accountancy; control; professional identity; professions; service ethic; socialization
Publisher: SAGE Publications
ISSN: 0018-7267
Last Modified: 25 Jun 2017 04:24
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/52132

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