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Personal and interpersonal skills development in an accounting degree: a case study of accounting education

Whitefield, Despina (2003) Personal and interpersonal skills development in an accounting degree: a case study of accounting education. PhD thesis, Swinburne University of Technology.

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Abstract

This thesis examines the perceptions of lecturers, graduates and employers of personal and interpersonal skills development in an accounting degree at Victoria University. The development of personal and interpersonal skills in students in higher education has been the focus of discussion amongst accounting educators, accounting practitioners and the accounting profession for many years. There is a general consensus on what skills are necessarily sought to ensure success within the accountancy profession but very few previous studies on how those personal and interpersonal skills are being developed. This research study presents a research framework which emphasises the complex interrelationships between an accounting curriculum, accounting lecturers, accounting graduates and employers of graduate accountants and their perceptions of how personal and interpersonal skills are developed. A case study approach, combining archival, qualitative and quantitative methods, is used to investigate how a Bachelor of Business Accounting degree in one Australian university facilitates personal and interpersonal skills development. The case study results indicate that the curriculum, as the vector for skills development, has both explicit and implicit references to skills outcomes. Graduates� perceptions of many of the personal and interpersonal skills considered in this study are closely related to the curriculum findings. However, there appears to be a lack of convergence between lecturers� perceptions, the curriculum and graduates� perceptions. Employers generally agree that graduates display most of the personal and interpersonal skills, albeit at a low level, in the workplace. There are curriculum implications arising from the results of this research for accounting academics who design and develop accounting programs where the value of graduates� personal and interpersonal skills are acknowledged. As a first step, academics need to improve accounting curricula by explicitly integrating personal and interpersonal skills in their subjects. Communicating to students the explicit nature of personal and interpersonal skills development and making them aware is the next step.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD thesis)
Uncontrolled Keywords: interpersonal skills, accounting, workplace, accounting degree, case study
Subjects: Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Management and Information Systems
RFCD Classification > 330000 Education
RFCD Classification > 350000 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
Depositing User: Ms Phung T Tran
Date Deposited: 12 Nov 2008 23:43
Last Modified: 09 Aug 2011 06:11
URI: http://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/1665
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