The definition of individual generic skills is problematic, despite the pressure for the development of such skills during accounting degrees coming from government and employers. This study aims to present definitions to allow academics to establish a point of reference when designing accounting curricula to encompass such skills.
The skill classification of explicit curriculum content is straightforward, and is undertaken by using content analysis to record objectives and/or tasks that are clearly stated in the curriculum documents. The classification of implicit skills was developed by setting, as clearly as possible, internal criteria that are used to determine whether a task embodied a particular behavioural skill.
The results show that not all 22 personal and interpersonal skills which should be developed during an accounting degree, according to the Australian professional accounting bodies, are in fact developed. The higher order and difficult skills of: think creatively and innovatively; handle conflict; handle challenges; handle change and empathy are not present in either the explicit or implicit curricula.
Concepts and understandings of many of the behavioural skills are abstract and a range of interpretations exists. Although the definition of each skill presented in this study is not as extensive or exhaustive as a lexicographer's compilation, this study is unique in that it offers clearer and more acceptable definitions for accounting educators to use than has previously been available.
Whitefield, D. and Kloot, L. (2006), "Personal and interpersonal skills: The process of prescribing definitions in an accounting degree", Asian Review of Accounting, Vol. 14 No. 1/2, pp. 101-121. https://doi.org/10.1108/13217340610729491Download as .RIS
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