Approaches to learning accounting: a cross-cultural study

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Donald, John and Jackling, Beverley (2007) Approaches to learning accounting: a cross-cultural study. Asian Review of Accounting, 15 (2). pp. 100-121. ISSN 1321-7348


Purpose – The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between the cultural background of students and their learning approaches in a first year undergraduate accounting program. Design/methodology/approach – While prior research in this area has more generally focused on the investigation of the approaches to learning by accounting students, there appears to have been little investigation into the learning approaches of students from different cultures who are studying accounting together at the same institution. The paper presents the results of a study of 550 students enrolled in an undergraduate accounting program at a multi-campus university in Victoria, Australia, which used Biggs' study process questionnaire (SPQ) to assess the approaches to learning utilised by local and Chinese students. Findings – The results showed that, while there were no significant differences in the use of surface and deep learning strategies by the Chinese and Australian students, there were significant differences in the learning motives of the two groups. Furthermore, the results contradict prior claims that Asian students rely principally on the memorisation and reproduction of factual information as a means of achieving academic success. Originality/value – The study provides support for the notion that Chinese students may in fact have a culturally induced bias towards seeking understanding through deeper approaches to study.

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Item type Article
DOI 10.1108/13217340710823341
Subjects Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > Faculty of Business and Law
Historical > FOR Classification > 2002 Cultural Studies
Historical > FOR Classification > 1501 Accounting, Auditing and Accountability
Keywords ResPubID14548, learning methods, learning styles, culture, accounting education, Australia, China
Citations in Scopus 35 - View on Scopus
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