Title: "It looks like friendship but it's not", the institutional embeddedness of informal client relationships of Big 4 accountants and consultants compared

Authors: Yvette Taminiau

Addresses: Department of Organization Sciences, VU University Amsterdam, De Boelelaan 1081c, 1081HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Abstract: This paper offers a description of an explorative study of the importance that accountants and consultants - active in the Big 4-organisations - attribute to informal client contact. The study examined the differences between accountants and consultants from various theoretical angles, using literature on the institutional setting of the two professions as well as literature on relationship management. The differences between accountants and consultants primarily consist of the ways that the representatives of the two professions talk about the strategic use of informal settings, motives for informal client contact, and the significance of institutional rules such as codes of conduct.

Keywords: accountancy; consultancy; informal relations; ethics; codes of practice; Big 4 accountancy firms; organisational behaviour; client relationships; relationship management; accountants; consultants; institutional rules; motivation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMCP.2013.055721

International Journal of Management Concepts and Philosophy, 2013 Vol.7 No.2, pp.128 - 149

Available online: 05 Aug 2013 *

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