The purpose of this study is to examine the influence of factors affecting students’ choice of accounting as a study major in Hong Kong.
Multinomial logistic regression and Hierarchical Generalized Linear Modeling (HGLM) are used to analyze the survey data for the level one and level two data, which is the first time such an approach has been used in the literature. Twenty semi‐structured interviews are conducted.
Results reveal that parental influence has the highest explanatory power among all three groups of students (i.e. accounting major, accounting minor, and other majors). This finding reflects the inculcation in students of the Confucian cultural norms ingrained in Chinese societies. Intrinsic interest is the second most important influencing factor reported by students. Two factors, “intrinsic interest” (attitude towards the behavior) and “parental influence” (subjective norm) in the multinomial logistic regressions and HGLM make significant contributions to predicting a student's decision to major in accounting for the level one (undergraduate) and level two model (master's students). The results support the theory of reasoned action (TRA) model. “First accounting course,” “high school accounting,” and “financial rewards” are not found to be factors influencing the decision to major in accounting, in contrast to the findings of the literature prior to the Enron scandal. Females are more likely to choose accounting as a major or minor than are males in the level one and level two models.
The findings indicate that Hong Kong universities and the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants (HKICPA) need to promote accounting to improve the current negative image of the profession to attract more bright students, who traditionally might choose a non‐accounting major.
The findings of this study extend the application of the TRA model to the accounting profession. Besides, results provide insights for employers to better understand the mindsets of potential accounting graduates.
Law, P. and Yuen, D. (2012), "A multilevel study of students’ motivations of studying accounting : Implications for employers", Education + Training, Vol. 54 No. 1, pp. 50-64. https://doi.org/10.1108/00400911211198896Download as .RIS
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