Articles

Accounting and networks of corruption

D. Neu, J. Everett, A. Rahaman, D. E. MARTINEZ

Accounting Organizations and Society

August 2013, vol. 38, n°6-7, pp.505-524

Departments: Accounting & Management Control, GREGHEC (CNRS)

Keywords: Corruption, Social networks, Social services, Sociology, Social interaction, Program administration (Education)


This study examines the nature and role of accounting practices in a network of corruption in an influence-market setting. The study focuses on the Canadian government’s Sponsorship Program (1994–2003), a national unification scheme that saw approximately $50 million diverted into the bank accounts of political parties, program administrators, and their families, friends and business colleagues. Relying on the institutional sociology of Bourdieu, the study demonstrates the precise role of accounting practices in the organization of a corrupt network imbued with a specific telos and certain accounting tasks. The study illustrates how accounting is accomplished and by whom, and it shows how the ‘skillful use’ of accounting practices and social interactions around these practices together enable corruption. In so doing, the study builds on a growing body of work examining criminogenic networks and the contextual, collaborative and systemic uses of accounting in such networks


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