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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10791/79

Title: Beyond Competency: The role of professional accounting education in the development of meta-competencies
Authors: Morpurgo, Mark T
Supervisor(s): Thomas, Janice (Faculty of Business, Athabasca University)
Examining Committee: Jensen, Tilly (Faculty of Business, Athabasca University)
Wright, Kirby (KRW Knowledge Resources Inc.)
Jones, Joanne (York University, Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies, School of Administrative Studies)
Degree: Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)
Department: Faculty of Business
Keywords: Accounting Education
Competency Development
Meta-competency Development
Generic Competencies
Professional Competencies
Professional Meta-competencies
Professional Meta-competency Development
Canadian Accounting Education
Certified Management Accountant
CMA Competency Development
CMA Meta-competency Development
Professional Education Programs
Professional Accounting Education
Issue Date: 26-Feb-2015
Abstract: The accounting profession is one of many around the world that has adopted a competency-based framework for professional certification. Based on recommendations of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), professional accountants must demonstrate a minimum level of proficiency in a set of requisite competencies. Despite such emphasis on competency development, there is little research on the usefulness of these competencies, the extent to which they are used in practice, or the manner in which they are developed, especially in the context of the Canadian professional accountant. Since the 1990s, work by a number of academics (Bolton, Brown, & McCartney, 1999; Brown, 1993, 1994; Brown & McCartney, 1995, 2004; Crawford, 2010; Tubbs & Schulz, 2006) suggests a set of overarching skills, or meta-competencies (MCs), that are necessary to effectively apply other competencies. MCs are a set of cognitive, personal, and interpersonal skills, abilities, and capacities that an individual may develop (Brown, 1994; Brown & McCartney, 1995) and which are closely tied to the application of professional “judgment, intuition and acumen” (Brown, 1994, p. 292). Thus, MCs are a central consideration in the development of professionals and the maintenance of their status as such. Professional associations have traditionally focused on developing employer- specified knowledge or technical competencies through formal programs of rigorous study, but have, to date, paid little attention to understanding what influences the development of MCs, especially in the context of formal versus workplace-based experiential learning. This research examines the role of one such professional association — the Certified Management Accountants (CMA) of Canada — in the PROFESSIONAL ACCOUNTING EDUCATION AND META-COMPETENCIES vi development of eight key MCs previously identified and conceptualized by Azevedo, Gomezlj Omerzel, Andrews, Higson, Caballero, and Frech (2012): influencing and persuading, teamwork and relationship building, critical and analytical thinking, self and time management, leadership, ability to see the bigger picture, presentation, and communication. In addition, interrelationships between other personal and organizational factors that may influence the development of specific MCs were also explored. Four key findings emerged from the study. First, by building on prior research related to the identification and measurement of a university MC expectations gap, the study shows CMA professional education program (PEP) does appear to bridge the university graduate MC expectations gap for some MCs; however, CMAs may overestimate their ability to see the bigger picture. Second, it was found that the most significant influences on the development of various MCs were demographic factors and learning environments. Prior education, industry, job tenure, and extracurricular activities, however, did not seem to influence the development of MCs to the same extent as other factors. Third, the study showed that meta-level quality indicators linking education and employment, as identified by Azevedo et al. (2012), may not, on their own, be robust enough to establish the same linkage to professional education and employment. Fourth, the study raises questions regarding the role and efficacy of professional education in MC development; these questions may be insightful to the recently unified Canadian accounting profession with its new PEP.
Graduation Date: 24-Feb-2014
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10791/79
Appears in Collections:Theses & Dissertations

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