The article ,,Identify narratives under threat: A study of former members of Arthur Andersen’ written by Gendron and Spira (2010) examines the impact of individuals trying to maintain their own identity when confronted with threatening and stressful events and discusses the way in which people define auditors and how they conduct their business. The article examines people’s behaviour after Andersen’s collapse and how they reacted to the company after its failure whilst trying to keep their identity through the professional accounting body whilst the media celebrated performance (Lyotard, 1979; Porter, 1995) and defame failure (Sandage, 2005). Literature Review
The authors tried to analyze the patterns of behaviour in people as individuals and their jobs as accountants. They look at the leadership style of Andersen and try to analyze his followers. Identity is about who we are (Woodward, 1997a). Identity is continuously subject to change (Alvesson & Willmott, 2002; Kreiner er al., 2006; Woodward, 1997b). The study recognises that organizational identity and identity work patterns are similar in character. Inter subjective identity identifies if you are part of the group or not, this was illustrated when Andersen employees were told to shred all the evidence (Amouruso et al., 2005). They were told what to do and not to question it. They had to be compliant follower (Bennis, 2001). “Ethical leadership involves using morally appropriate actions to achieve goals” (Northouse, 2009). This was the actions that could be seen by management in Andersen when the evidence of Enron papers had to be shredded. According to the interviewees no one actually looked at the audit papers to see if the auditor had fulfilled their role. The interviews which took place were originally set up to interpret people’s feelings and emotions but were changed as people wanted to talk about the failings of Andersen and how it affected them. Methodology
The paper was based on face to face interviews using a methodological base. The individuals had been approached prior to the interviews by email sending them a summary of the research project. The interviews were semi-structured as the questions became apparent that the interviewees wanted to discuss the organizational background to the underlying reason for the fall of Andersen thus they were asked open questions. The investigation was carried out between April and November 2004 and got an effective response rate of 2%. Out of the 25 respondents, 18 operated were auditors, 5 worked on tax and the remaining 2 provided consultations. All were managers, senior managers or partners in the business. The interviews were carried out on British, Canadian and American candidates. 23 were interviewed face to face recording the response whilst 2 Americans provided comments on paper. The sample size was very small as of 2002 Andersen had 85,000 employees but in 2007 only 200 remained. The sample size was based on only a quarter of the remaining employees. The article uses descriptive statistics to illustrate the work patterns which emerged from the analysis and a table to demonstrate the correlation identifying the work patterns of the individual. The questionnaire was not based on any previous studies. It could be argued that people do not like to think about consumer needs which disagrees with the arguments of researchers (Baudrillard, 2001; Du Gay, 1996; Rose, 1990) who question that members of an organization are automatically changing to fit the needs of its consumers. Analysis of the findings
The analysis centred on the differences on individuals’ identity and identity working for professional accountancy firms. The study was based on 48, of those 25 agreed to be interviewed. This highlights that individuals do not want to be seen to be speaking of their former professional employer or they do not want to be identified. The evidence supported was ‘everyone...
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