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New Zealand chartered accountants' work/family strategies and consequences for career success

Rosalind H. Whiting (Department of Accountancy and Business Law, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand)

Pacific Accounting Review

ISSN: 0114-0582

Article publication date: 18 July 2008




The purpose of this study is to investigate the strategies that New Zealand chartered accountants use to combine work and family responsibilities, and to relate these strategies to chartered accountants' career success.


The study analysed qualitative career history data obtained from interviews with 69 male and female experienced chartered accountants.


A comprehensive work/family strategy typology for New Zealand chartered accountants was developed. The five types identified were Traditional Men, Traditional Women, Work First Women, Family Balancers, and Stepping Stone Men. In general, those who followed a male linear career model (Traditional Men and Work First Women) demonstrated higher levels of career success. Some notable exceptions showed that career success could be achieved by those with higher levels of family responsibilities, if the employing organisation does not demand rigid conformance with the linear career model.

Research limitations/implications

The purposeful bias in the sample selection and the diversity in the interviewees' workplaces decrease the study's generalisability. But those factors contributed to the ability to identify a wide range of current work/family strategies.

Practical implications

The paper provides a basis for the accountancy profession to adapt to the feminisation of the profession and the increasing demands for work/life balance by developing policies and practices targeted at enhancing career progression for a more diverse range of work/family strategic types than is currently recognised.


There are no prior data describing the diversity in New Zealand chartered accountants' work/family strategies.



Whiting, R.H. (2008), "New Zealand chartered accountants' work/family strategies and consequences for career success", Pacific Accounting Review, Vol. 20 No. 2, pp. 111-137.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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