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Recognition is more important than pay, new ACCA report finds


16 Dec 2015


Innovation & Enterprise
Social Europe & Jobs

ACCA report examines how behaviour reflects culture in worldwide organisations


A new report, Culture and channelling corporate behaviourACCA member survey, published by ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) has found that recognition at work is the highest motivator, regardless of age, industry or location – even outstripping monetary reward. 

The survey harnessed the views of almost 2,000 ACCA finance professionals from across the globe. The results also highlighted geographical variations, including the desire to reach a more senior position as being a stronger motivator in Africa and Asia while having a more challenging role was most important for employees in the Americas.

Jo Iwasaki, ACCA Head of Corporate Governance, said:

“The survey highlighted some clear distinctions between employee views in Europe and America and Africa and Asia. For example in Africa and Asia rules and procedures play a larger role than for respondents in Europe. However, the tone of corporate leadership is vitally important in channelling the overall culture of an organisation in any region.”

The issue of performance management will be of particular interest to business leaders. Although half of the respondents conceded that performance-related pay schemes could help foster best performance, nearly two-third thought that such systems may invite people to exaggerate or otherwise falsify their measures. This shows the fine line employers need to tread when putting in place performance related targets and the need for careful consideration when linking them to pay.

Konstantinos Stathopoulos, Professor of Accounting and Finance at Manchester Business School and co-author of the report, said:

“The survey results reveal there is no “one size fits all” strategy when it comes to building corporate culture and behaviour. Even though the role of leadership in setting the tone is highlighted in most responses, the survey uncovers significant differences in attitudes and perceptions regarding effective channels of corporate behaviour. These disparities are also intensified by differences in respondents’ geographic location, industry and characteristics.”     

This is the final part in a series of four reports designed to help boards understand what constitutes corporate culture and how functional behaviours at work can better be promoted. The report was co-funded by the ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council). A full copy of the report is available here:


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For further information:

Cecile Bonino , tel: +32 (0) 2 286 11 37or

Notes to Editors

About ACCA

ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is the global body for professional accountants. It offers business-relevant, first-choice qualifications to people of application, ability and ambition around the world who seek a rewarding career in accountancy, finance and management. 
ACCA supports its 178,000 members and 455,000 students in 181 countries, helping them to develop successful careers in accounting and business, with the skills required by employers. ACCA works through a network of 95 offices and centres and more than 7,110 Approved Employers worldwide, who provide high standards of employee learning and development. Through its public interest remit, ACCA promotes appropriate regulation of accounting and conducts relevant research to ensure accountancy continues to grow in reputation and influence. 
Founded in 1904, ACCA has consistently held unique core values: opportunity, diversity, innovation, integrity and accountability. It believes that accountants bring value to economies in all stages of development and seek to develop capacity in the profession and encourage the adoption of global standards. ACCA’s core values are aligned to the needs of employers in all sectors and it ensures that through its range of qualifications, it prepares accountants for business. ACCA seeks to open up the profession to people of all backgrounds and remove artificial barriers, innovating its qualifications and delivery to meet the diverse needs of trainee professionals and their employers. More information is here:


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