The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants has produced a new series of reports in collaboration with the Economic and Social Research Council investigating the dynamics between corporate culture and regulations and the link to dysfunctional behavior in organizations. 

The reports suggest actions that corporate leaders and boards can take to assess and improve culture and behavior in organizations.

The series, “Culture and Channelling Corporate Behavior,” comes in response to the global financial crisis. The reports include a review of the relevant academic literature from different social science disciplines, investigations of various scandals and corporate failures, findings from roundtable discussions and other meetings with experts and leaders on five continents, and a forthcoming report on the results of an online survey of ACCA’s global membership.

The main report, "Culture and Channeling Corporate Behavior: Summary of Findings," suggests actions that can be taken to align core values at the very top of an organization, develop an awareness of the unintended consequences of an incentives structure, and learn what motivates people.

The 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 recommended.  

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