The Unbearable Lightness Of Internal Auditing: Ethics And Virtues In A Heteronomous Field

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Executive Summary

This paper examines ethics and virtues in the field of internal auditing. A set of in-depth interviews, the autobiography of ex-Vice President of Internal Audit of World Com, Cynthia Cooper, and the website of the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) are all analyzed to shed light on the ethics - deontic, teleic, and aretaic - that characterize this weakly autonomous or 'Heteronomous' field. Based on these data sets and different ethical lenses, and further employing Milan Kundera's rhetorical trope of 'Lightness vs. weight', the paper contrasts the profession's treatment of ethics and virtues with the ethics and virtues found in the field of practice.

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