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Class absenteeism: reasons for non‐attendance and the effect on academic performance

Astrid Schmulian (Department of Accounting, Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa)
Stephen Coetzee (Department of Accounting, Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa)

Accounting Research Journal

ISSN: 1030-9616

Article publication date: 13 September 2011

Abstract

Purpose

Other business education literature, particularly in the field of economics, has developed theories in respect of the reasons for non‐attendance of lectures and the positive correlation between class attendance and academic performance. The aim of this paper is to determine the generalizability of these theories to a large accounting class in South Africa.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is a differentiated replication of the study by Paisey and Paisey, who provided initial evidence of the generalizability of these theories to a small accounting class in Scotland, employing a research questionnaire and the analysis of quantitative and qualitative data.

Findings

The reasons given for the non‐attendance of lectures generally correspond with those previously reported. Certain differences that are identified are likely a result of specific country or economic factors. This study found a significant positive correlation between class attendance and academic performance; however, the correlation is low and not very meaningful. Further analysis reveals some difference between language groups suggesting that culture and ethnicity may have an effect on the relationship between class attendance and academic performance.

Originality/value

This paper raises questions as to the generalizability of prior research on class attendance and academic performance. The findings of this study suggest other factors, including students' economic, cultural and ethnic backgrounds, are likely to affect associations between class attendance and academic performance.

Keywords

Citation

Schmulian, A. and Coetzee, S. (2011), "Class absenteeism: reasons for non‐attendance and the effect on academic performance", Accounting Research Journal, Vol. 24 No. 2, pp. 178-194. https://doi.org/10.1108/10309611111163718

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited