ABSTRACT

The purpose of this case is to relate the topic of workplace deviance to students entering the accounting profession. Deviance is defined as “voluntary employee behavior that violates organizational norms and, in so doing, threatens the well-being of the organization or its members” (Robinson and Bennett 1995). In an audit context, examples include fudging expense reports, breaking client dress protocol, and complaining to the client about firm policies. This case is based on incidents the author noticed while working in public practice as well as observations relayed by current auditors. The case relates the story of a senior manager with a large regional firm who is assigned the onerous task of investigating partners' numerous complaints of observing audit firm members engaging in behavior such as taking extra-long lunches, running personal errands during work hours, and needlessly surfing the Internet while at client locations. The case is intended to develop students' understanding of the following: the concept of workplace deviance, the three types of deviance, and the causes and consequences of deviant behavior in an audit setting. Students are asked to identify examples of deviant behavior in the case as well as from previous professional work experiences.

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