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Article
Publication date: 31 August 2020

Ilse Lubbe and Angus Duff

Accounting academics in South Africa (SA) have been criticised for their lack of focus on research, stating that their primary responsibility is the teaching of…

Abstract

Purpose

Accounting academics in South Africa (SA) have been criticised for their lack of focus on research, stating that their primary responsibility is the teaching of prospective professional accountants. The purpose of this paper is to empirically evaluate the relationship between research and teaching and to consider why accounting academics in SA prioritise teaching over research.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper uses a questionnaire developed in the UK to assess SA accounting academics’ views of the teaching-research nexus. Cluster analysis is undertaken to identify and describe the patterns of responses of respondents.

Findings

The findings identify three clusters. The largest subgroup indicates an equal awareness of both the potential benefits and pitfalls of integrating teaching and research. A second subgroup views teaching and research as symbiotic, while the third subgroup sees the two activities as working against each other and competing for scarce resources. This study finds that conflict exists between professional membership and academic research, and a focus on teaching a professionally orientated accounting curriculum remains dominant in SA.

Research limitations/implications

The attitudes to teaching and research within SA are likely to be dynamic and subject to change. The findings have implications for the development of accounting academics and potentially, for addressing the gap between accounting research, practice and education.

Originality/value

This research contributes to a significant corpus of work considering the teaching-research nexus and a nascent body of work considering the relationship of research to teaching in accounting. The findings may be of interest to policymakers, practitioners and academics.

Details

Meditari Accountancy Research, vol. 29 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2049-372X

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Article
Publication date: 26 June 2018

Angus Duff

The purpose of this paper is to examine the extent and quality of voluntary intellectual capital disclosures (ICD) by professional accounting firms (PAFs) in the UK.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the extent and quality of voluntary intellectual capital disclosures (ICD) by professional accounting firms (PAFs) in the UK.

Design/methodology/approach

The research method adopted for this study is content analysis considering the ICD in firms’ annual reports, corporate social responsibility reports, websites and recruitment materials. The sample for this research is based on 20 PAFs ranked by fee income. The paper employs institutional theory as its theoretical lens.

Findings

The findings of this paper show that ICDs vary across different forms of reports. The most frequently reported disclosure category is human capital, while the least reported category is internal capital. Monetary disclosures are most likely to relate to internal capital, while pictorial disclosures are most likely to relate to human capital.

Research limitations/implications

The sample size of the study is relatively small reflecting the extreme market concentration of accounting services in the UK and internationally. Future research can conduct a longitudinal study to capture the trend of reporting practices and consider narrative and discursive approaches to ICD.

Originality/value

No previous studies of intellectual capital (IC) disclosure have considered ICDs in professional service firms that are in themselves rich sources of human capital. Furthermore, the investigation uses a wide range of communications and assesses monetary, non-monetary, narrative and pictorial disclosures. This research extends both the IC disclosure and PAFs’ literatures.

Details

Journal of Intellectual Capital, vol. 19 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1469-1930

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Article
Publication date: 19 June 2017

Angus Duff

The purpose of this paper is to consider how Big Four and mid-tier accountancy firms in the UK are responding to political concerns about social mobility and Fair Access…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to consider how Big Four and mid-tier accountancy firms in the UK are responding to political concerns about social mobility and Fair Access to the accountancy profession.

Design/methodology/approach

Interviews were undertaken with 18 public accountancy firms, ranked in the Top 30 by fee income, operating in the UK to identify how they are recruiting staff in the light of the Fair Access to the Professions’ agenda. Bourdieusian sociology is used to inform the findings.

Findings

The Big Four firms employ a discourse of hiring “the brightest and the best” to satisfy perceived client demand, where symbolic capital is instantiated by reputational capital, reflecting prestige and specialisation, supported by a workforce with elite credentials. For mid-tier firms, reputational capital is interpreted as the need for individuals to service a diverse client portfolio. In general, most interviewees demonstrated relatively limited awareness of the issues surrounding the Fair Access agenda.

Research limitations/implications

The interviews with accountancy firms are both exploratory and cross-sectional. Furthermore, the study was undertaken at an embryonic point (2010) in the emerging Fair Access discourse. Future work considering the accountancy profession could usefully examine if, and how, matters have progressed.

Social implications

The investigation finds that accountancy firms remain relatively socially exclusive, largely due to the requirement for high educational entry standards, and interviewees’ responses generally indicate only limited attempts at engagement with political agendas of promoting Fair Access to the profession.

Originality/value

This paper is the first to empirically evaluate how the accountancy profession is responding to the Fair Access agenda; documents changing patterns of recruitment in accountancy employment, including the hiring of non-graduates to undertake professional work; and augments the literature considering social class and accounting.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 30 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 3 November 2020

Angus J. Duff and Scott B. Rankin

The purpose of this study is to understand the lived experience of workers who live in vans to explore how work and non-work interact when one's living environment is mobile.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to understand the lived experience of workers who live in vans to explore how work and non-work interact when one's living environment is mobile.

Design/methodology/approach

In this qualitative study, semi-structured interviews were carried out with 18 participants. Thematic analysis of interview transcripts, coded while listening to each interview recording, provided a rich account of the interaction of work and non-work life domains.

Findings

Several themes were identified, including seeing the van as a home, hidden or disclosed identity stemming from living in a van, financial freedom, career freedom and work/non-work synchronization. Overall, findings suggest that flexible home arrangements, the relocation of one's home to adapt to work, aligned work and non-work domains to positively impact their overall work and non-work satisfaction, providing career freedom and expanded career opportunities.

Research limitations/implications

The understanding of workers who live in vans broadens one’s understanding of mobile work and the work/non-work interface, providing insight into the dual alignment of work and home to accommodate each other, which the authors term work/non-work synchronization.

Originality/value

This is one of the first studies to consider van living from a work and career perspective and for the first time conceptualizes the notion of flexible home arrangements.

Details

Career Development International, vol. 25 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1362-0436

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Article
Publication date: 22 May 2009

Angus Duff

The purpose of this paper is to consider changing perceptions of audit quality in the UK during a period of significant environmental change. The views of three audit…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to consider changing perceptions of audit quality in the UK during a period of significant environmental change. The views of three audit stakeholder groups of auditors (n=109 and 183), auditees (n=75 and 121), and investors (n=74 and 111) are considered.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper uses survey data collected in February 2005, comparing results to a dataset gathered in February 2002, coincident with the Enron/Andersen debacle. Three issues are addressed. First, the construct validity of scale scores is assessed. Second, the measurement equivalence between the three groups is considered. Third, an assessment of group differences and differences attributable to time of administration is undertaken.

Findings

Results identify that audit quality is defined by four higher‐order factors labeled competence, independence, relationship, and service qualities. Confirmatory factor analyses indicated measurement equivalence across groups drawn from the three samples and two time periods. Contrary to expectations, mean scores on the “technical” audit factors (competence, relationship, and independence) fell from 2002 to 2005. However, as expected, no change in service qualities mean scores was identified across the period.

Originality/value

The paper assesses stakeholder attitudes at a time when the UK audit environment has undergone significant change between the 2002 and 2005 administrations of the instrument.

Details

Managerial Auditing Journal, vol. 24 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-6902

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 2012

Angus Duff and John Ferguson

This paper aims to explore the intersection of disability and accounting employment.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore the intersection of disability and accounting employment.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper uses oral history accounts of 12 disabled accountants. The authors investigate narrators' experiences of being disabled people and professional accountants, identify the barriers they encounter in professional employment, and how they (re)negotiate professional work.

Findings

The narrators' accounts are complex and diverse. The narratives record a discourse of success, offset by the consistent identification of social and environmental barriers relating to limited opportunities, resources, and support.

Originality/value

The paper develops the limited research on the relationship between disability and the accounting profession, expands the limited literature on disabled professionals' experience of work, provides voice for disabled accountants, adds to the limited oral histories available within accounting, and augments the accumulated literature considering the accounting profession and minorities.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 25 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 25 July 2008

Xin Guo, Angus Duff and Mario Hair

The purpose of this paper is to construct a measurement instrument to capture service quality in the Chinese corporate banking market.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to construct a measurement instrument to capture service quality in the Chinese corporate banking market.

Design/methodology/approach

To create the measurement instrument, Chinese Banking Service Quality (CBSQ), constructs are utilised from the generic service quality literature and Chinese business culture. In addition, 18 financial managers were interviewed to identify how other aspects of the Chinese banking market could be included in the new instrument. CBSQ was administered to 259 corporate customers in China. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses were used to assist data reduction, test hypothesised models and refine scales.

Findings

Factor analysis identifies that service quality in Chinese corporate banking is measured by a nested model, consisting of two higher‐order constructs (i.e. functional quality and technical quality) and four lower‐order dimensions (i.e. reliability, human capital, technology and communication).

Research limitations/implications

The data were collected from corporate customers in China, and hence the findings of this paper may not be generalisable to other contexts.

Practical implications

The presence of CBSQ is timely given the rapid development of the Chinese banking sector, allowing Chinese domestic banks and international banks to incorporate service quality issues into their strategic planning. Particularly, bank management could benefit from focusing their efforts on the four dimensions of CBSQ.

Originality/value

This research contributes to our understanding of service quality in the Chinese banking market by creating CBSQ – a model to capture the quality of service provision in corporate banking. The utility of CBSQ for academics and practitioners is discussed along with avenues for future research.

Details

International Journal of Bank Marketing, vol. 26 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-2323

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 3 May 2013

Angus J. Duff

The purpose of this paper is to consider theoretically the relationships between performance management, a servant leadership style and leader gender, drawing from Hackman…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to consider theoretically the relationships between performance management, a servant leadership style and leader gender, drawing from Hackman and Wageman's theory of team coaching to suggest a servant leadership style being optimally suited to support the different leadership roles enacted at different stages of the performance management cycle. While recent research suggests that female managers may be more likely to enact a servant leadership style, team and process‐level considerations have yet to be addressed. This paper aims to theoretically address this topic.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is conceptual based on theory with literature review.

Findings

Because the theory of team coaching suggests differential leader task delivery at various points in the coaching process, servant leadership's individually‐centred approach is suited to team coaching, particularly in the execution of performance management coaching.

Practical implications

Since research suggests that women are more likely to employ a servant leadership style, this paper explores whether gender plays a role in team coaching.

Originality/value

This study makes a novel contribution by considering the influence of a servant leadership style at the leadership process and team levels.

Details

Leadership & Organization Development Journal, vol. 34 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7739

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 4 February 2014

Angus J. Duff and Chris C.A. Chan

– To empirically consider work and career as potential influences of suicide.

Abstract

Purpose

To empirically consider work and career as potential influences of suicide.

Design/methodology/approach

In this qualitative study we conducted in-depth semi-structured interviews with 16 individuals who were survivors (i.e. family members or intimates) of individuals who had committed suicide. Data was analyzed using a grounded theory methodology.

Findings

This exploratory study used purposive self-determination as the theoretical framework for analyzing their life histories. Factors of purposive self-determination, including lack of purpose, feeling controlled, experiencing failure, and social exclusion all figured prominently but differentially according to life-stage. Distinct work and career themes for early-career, mid-career and late-career suicides emerged. Early-career suicides were attributed to educational or work-related contexts, leading to a sense of hopelessness. Mid-career suicides emphasized despair based in failure. Finally, an attempt to escape from challenges associated with transitioning roles in retirements emerged as a key theme in late-career suicides.

Originality/value

Although suicide has been studied extensively from medical, psychopathological, sociological, anthropological, philosophical and religious perspectives, there is a dearth of research considering why certain individuals choose to end their own lives as a result of work and career related reasons. This study sought to contribute to our understanding of this under-researched phenomenon. Additionally, while extant careers theory and research has considered positive notions of career such as career success or careers as a calling, this work presents an alternate lens, the consideration of career failure and careers as a sentence.

Details

Career Development International, vol. 19 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1362-0436

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 2 November 2010

Robin Roslender

Abstract

Details

Journal of Human Resource Costing & Accounting, vol. 14 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1401-338X

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