The professional being someone associated with cruciality and mystique. At least according to David C. Burns and William J. Haga, in “Much Ado About Professionalism: A Second Look at Accounting” a 1977 article in The Accounting Review. Type of article that is less likely to be published there today.

Article is used in an Accounting Theory class. Have spoken about how both cruciality and mystique are illustrated by heart surgeons. Absolutely essential, and only they can do it, and nobody knows quite how. Use younger daughter example, plus example of former student’s father. Leading to discussion as to what levels of cruciality and mystique are associated with the practise of public accounting.

Making the point that much that is now professional is no longer seen to be so, because there are fewer restrictions as to who might engage in the action, and the mystique gets eroded through professionals criticising each other. Doctors are less likely to criticise fellow doctors, due to the nature and extent of the judgement involved. Lawyers regularly criticise each other, it seems, both in terms of solicitor work and in terms of the work of civil litigators. Reflecting on the cross-sectional approach to united front by instructors, at Concordia.

Suggested to class that one area of law practice where cruciality and mystique could still be found was in the area of criminal defence work. Absolutely essential, what they do, only they can do it, and nobody quite knows how. Made the point that criminal defence counsel, like doctors, rarely criticise each other. After all, the more criticism, the more erosion of the cruciality and mystique dimensions, leading to the ultimate erosion of the profession.

Then one reads of one criminal defence counsel from Quebec criticising the trial tactics of another, in New Brunswick, going so far as to formalize his criticism in a journal article, referring to the result as “Un inquétant lynchage”.

When one becomes little more than the hired hand, criticised by the next renovator…social consequences of the erosion of the professional…


About brucelarochelle
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