The purpose of this research is to investigate creativity within the context of a more regulated accounting functional area (audit and tax) and a less regulated non‐accounting functional area (consulting). Accordingly, this research aims at developing insights into how current cultural assumptions may have to change, if professional challenges requiring more creative behaviours are to be successfully addressed.
Six literature‐derived hypotheses were formulated to be quantitatively tested using a self‐report inventory.
The findings showed that the less regulated functional area reported higher scores on creativity, intrinsic motivation, creative team factors and transformational leadership. The findings suggested that such differences could not be explained by personal education/aptitude variations, and could be a consequence of more support for creative behaviours, a significantly different form of transformational leadership, and also weaker structural constraints on creativity.
The work has examined constructs at the level of professional work groups, while it has raised issues at the far wider level or professional cultures. Researchers acknowledge that such broader findings are of an exploratory nature. The new scales were adequately reported to be reliable and valid, but further assessment is needed. Further studies and efforts are essential to raise awareness in professional bodies of the importance of the issues of creativity, motivation, and leadership.
The work has implications for tailored training and development of accounting professionals. Case evidence from “best‐practice” accounting departments would help challenge the beliefs that creative change is impossible.
The research suggested a new paradigm in which accounting professionals can be adaptively creative “within the task” and innovatively creative “around the task” as appropriate means of change and development of services in accounting offices, as this is theoretically feasible and empirically could be proved.
Al‐Beraidi, A. and Rickards, T. (2006), "Rethinking creativity in the accounting profession: to be professional and creative", Journal of Accounting & Organizational Change, Vol. 2 No. 1, pp. 25-41. https://doi.org/10.1108/18325910610654117Download as .RIS
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