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Impact of informal learning in the accounting profession

Michelle M. Kusaila (Department of Accounting, Central Connecticut State University, New Britain, Connecticut, USA)

Journal of Workplace Learning

ISSN: 1366-5626

Publication date: 20 August 2019

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the impact of informal learning contextual factors in facilitation workplace learning in the auditing profession.

Design/methodology/approach

Multiple linear regression analysis was used to look at the relationship between four aspects of informal learning and the impact on workplace learning using data from a cross-sectional survey of 95 audit professionals.

Findings

Correlation analysis identifies men perceive access to time and technology resources differently than women, but regression analysis identifies both genders are impacted by having time to participate in informal learning activities. Older, more experienced auditors’ were not as impacted by informal learning activities, but younger auditors were impacted by management support. Contrasting previous research the significance of a supportive organizational culture suggests the learning culture in public accounting firms’ support knowledge dispersion through the feedback and review process.

Research limitations/implications

This study was tested in one context; it could be expanded to other accounting professionals, to look for generalizability. The technology attribute can be further explored as technology adoption is pushed to new staff; future studies could explore whether the technology attribute becomes significant.

Originality/value

Few studies have looked at the quantitative impact of informal learning in the accounting profession. This study adds to the literature confirming the importance of the pyramid structure in encouraging the development of younger auditors and its perceived positive impact on them. In addition, it extends the importance of the time commitment to personal development, and the role it plays in informal learning.

Keywords

Citation

Kusaila, M.M. (2019), "Impact of informal learning in the accounting profession", Journal of Workplace Learning, Vol. 31 No. 7, pp. 429-441. https://doi.org/10.1108/JWL-01-2019-0007

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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