Embedding generic employability skills in Greek accounting education studies: Development and impediments.

ASONITOU, Sofia. (2014). Embedding generic employability skills in Greek accounting education studies: Development and impediments. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University (United Kingdom)..

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Abstract

The aim of this thesis is to explore the response of Greek Higher Education (HE) Institutes to the rapidly-changing global evolutions that lead to the introduction of skills and competences (professional skills) within accounting courses. The introduction of professional skills in HE accounting courses constitutes a "paradigm shift" and signifies the transformation of future accountants (especially management accountants) from "bean counters to business advisors and successful management team members" who will be capable of supporting their employers to overcome global challenges and take informed decisions. The European Union and the Bologna Process have devoted considerable resources and efforts, through the establishment of European Higher Education Area (EHEA) and the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS), to promote professional skills and competences and, through them, the employability prospects of HE graduates. The thesis employs the New Institutional Sociology (NIS; DiMaggio and Powell, 1983, 1991) combined with the typology of Oliver (1991) with regard to the increasing privatisation of HE (Meyer and Rowan, 2006) and specifically institutional isomorphism (coercive, mimetic, normative) as a tool to analyse the pressures and barriers to skills introduction in HE accounting courses. The study employs a Mixed Methods Methodology and a 3-Phase Sequential Exploratory Design (Creswell and Plano Clark, 2007) to investigate the views of three groups of stakeholders: accounting teachers, business administration and accounting students and accountants, via interviews, questionnaires, documentary analysis, web-based research, and informal discussions. The main findings are: Professional skills are considered important by all stakeholders in Greece, but a gap exists between the importance assigned to skills and their delivery by the educational process. The skill in most need of attention is "the ability for students to identify and solve unstructured problems". There are convergent and divergent isomorphic pressures regarding the introduction of professional skills in H.E accounting courses, both internal and external. The internal divergent isomorphic pressures come from three groups: the educational system (i.e. lack of communication, support and motivation), the teachers (i.e. non-reflective practices, lack of training), and the students (i.e. absenteeism, cultural and educational background). The external divergent isomorphic pressures come from the market (i.e. structure and attitude), the state (i.e. tax system) and the employers (i.e. ignorance). The convergent isomorphic pressures are exerted on an individual, organisational and national level and are identified as institutional (coercive, normative, mimetic, normative-mimetic and mimetic-coercive) as well as competitive pressures.Greek HE Institutions have so far adopted strategies of defiance, manipulation, avoidance and compromise in response to skills introduction.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Additional Information: Thesis (Ph.D.)--Sheffield Hallam University (United Kingdom), 2014.
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
Depositing User: EPrints Services
Date Deposited: 10 Apr 2018 17:18
Last Modified: 10 Apr 2018 17:18
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/19291

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