A growing literature points to a crisis of confidence in the accounting profession and a lack of commitment by its members to the professional ideology. In this paper the approach developed by MacIntyre is used to place professional ideology in an historical context. The paper argues that the tension and strain in the profession can be related to the changing character of both the contemporary society and professional ideology itself. It concludes by highlighting the need for the profession to develop an ideology to which its members as well as society can relate.

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