Non-technical skills and students' overconfidence in accounting

ARQUERO, JL, FERNANDEZ-POLVILLO, C and HASSALL, Trevor (2022). Non-technical skills and students' overconfidence in accounting. Education and Training.

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Purpose: Despite the institutional calls to include the development of non-technical skills as objectives in accounting curriculum and the attempts to do so, a gap between the level of skills exhibited by graduates and those needed to succeed as a professional is still perceived. One of the possible causes could be students' overconfidence, defined as a very optimistic assessment of their own abilities. The main objective of the paper is to assess the existence of overconfidence. Design/methodology/approach: Two samples, students and employers were surveyed regarding the exhibited level of accounting graduates in a set of 22 non-technical skills, highlighted as relevant in the literature. This enabled a comparison of the opinions of employers with the perceptions of students concerning the demonstrated level of such skills. Findings: The results of this study support the existence of students' overconfidence. In all the skills students score their ability higher than employers do with those differences being statistically significant in 21 out of 22 skills. Employers who are in closer contact with entry level accountants perceive even lower exhibited skills levels in graduates. Research limitations/implications: Overconfident students would be less motivated to actively participate in activities designed to improve skills resulting in underachievement and in lower performance. This low performance in highly valued skills could potentially harm their employability. Originality/value: Although the literature focussing on non-technical skills in accounting is prolific there are few papers comparing the views of employers and students, and there are no previous studies focussing on overconfidence.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Accounting; Skills development; Overconfidence; Skills expectation gap; 13 Education; 15 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services; Business & Management
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SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 08 Sep 2022 12:03
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2023 10:30

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