Over the past 30 years, increasing use of technology has created a global business environment leading to the changed role of a professional accountant. In response, accounting organizations and employers have demanded professionals who are creative and innovative, with strong critical thinking and problem-solving skills, yet accounting firms and prior research continue to identify creativity as one of the most important yet most lacking traits of their newly hired employees. This study experimentally examines whether accounting students are indeed less creative than other students, a potential cause for differences in creativity, and a potential intervention to enhance creativity. Our results indicate that, on average, accounting students are not less creative than other students, but rather when performing an accounting task, they are initially less creative, suggesting that the accounting context may be partially contributing to the perceived lack of creativity. However, providing accounting students with process-oriented feedback significantly improves their future creativity, as differences between accounting and non-accounting students are eliminated. The authors contribute to the accounting and creativity literature and discuss implications for accounting education and the profession.
We appreciate tremendous support and advice from Elizabeth Almer, Cynthia Blanthorne, Gary Hecht, and Den Patten.
Birkey, R. and Hausserman, C. (2019), "Inducing Creativity in Accountants’ Task Performance: the Effects of Background, Environment, and Feedback", Calderon, T. (Ed.) Advances in Accounting Education: Teaching and Curriculum Innovations (Advances in Accounting Education, Vol. 22), Emerald Publishing Limited, pp. 109-133. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1085-462220190000022006Download as .RIS
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