ACCA Report Series Assists Boards in Assessing Companies’ Corporate Culture

-Research investigates perceptions of corporate culture and its links to dysfunctional behavior in organizations-

NEW YORK--()--A report series from ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants), launched in collaboration with the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), investigates dynamics between corporate culture and regulations, and the link to functional and dysfunctional behavior in organizations. The series provides tools and suggests actions for leaders and boards looking to assess and improve cultures and behaviors in organizations.

The series, “Culture and Channeling Corporate Behavior,” was initiated in response to the 2008 global financial crisis, which demonstrated how regulation and existing corporate governance mechanisms failed to prevent dysfunctional behaviors from spreading and seemingly thriving businesses from collapsing. Headlines concerning corporate scandals and public inquiries into corporate malfeasance have made corporate culture and the interaction between culture, behavior, and business ethics an emerging hot topic.

The series is based on the understanding that a healthy corporate culture is a prerequisite for good governance and for sound risk management and long-term corporate performance. It includes:

  • A review of a body of academic literature from different social science disciplines, as well as reports and investigations into various scandals and corporate failures;
  • Findings from roundtable discussions and other meetings with experts and leaders on five continents; and,
  • Findings from an online survey among ACCA’s global membership (forthcoming).

Reconciling What Exists With What is Desired

The main report, Culture and Channeling Corporate Behavior: Summary of Findings, offers a series of actions to reconcile the culture that exists with the culture that is wanted, including:

  • Aligning and embedding core values at the very top;
  • An awareness of the unintended consequences of an incentives structure; and
  • Knowledge of what motivates people.

Report findings indicate that assessing culture is a continuous and evolving project, and that rather than using pass-or-fail approaches, boards need to use a set of trade-offs – such as deliberations of conformity versus challenge and profit versus public value – to map out the culture they have and identify where change is needed.

The research has now entered its second stage where practical implications and suggestions for engaging in behavioral change will be put forward.

About ACCA

ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is the global body for professional accountants. We aim to offer business-relevant, first-choice qualifications to people of application, ability and ambition around the world who seek a rewarding career in accountancy, finance and management. We support our 162,000 members and 428,000 students in 173 countries, helping them to develop successful careers in accounting and business, with the skills required by employers. We work through a network of 91 offices and centres and more than 8,500 Approved Employers worldwide, who provide high standards of employee learning and development. Through our public interest remit, we promote appropriate regulation of accounting and conduct relevant research to ensure accountancy continues to grow in reputation and influence.


Katrin Maier, 917-478-2891

Release Summary

Reports from the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants investigate dynamics between corporate culture and regulations and the link to functional and dysfunctional behavior in organizations.


Katrin Maier, 917-478-2891