Adjei-Kusi, Kojo (2018) Lifelong learning among accountants: exploring the links with professional identity. Doctoral thesis, Keele University.

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Abstract

This thesis explores links between lifelong learning and professional identity among a group of eighteen accountants working across three countries between 2013 and 2016. The substantive aim of this study was to contribute to existing but limited literature on lifelong learning in accountancy, by exploring ways in which professional identity features in decisions around lifelong learning. Current literature tends to focus primarily on either lifelong learning or professional identity, in which lifelong learning usually relates to CPD. However, the importance of the accountancy profession as a core institution linking state and society (a Durkheimian concept of ‘profession’) makes considerations of its learning and professional aspects important as part of a learning society.
Data for this study were collected through six semi-structured interviews and thirteen separate open-ended self-administered questionnaires. The respondent accountants, drawn from UK, Ghana, and Canada had varying levels of experience, worked in different economic sectors, and were all undertaking varied forms of lifelong learning. The data obtained were analysed thematically in the main, but also drawing heavily on Bourdieu’s Theory of Practice to focus on the individual negotiation of constraining institutional structures.
I find that, for these accountants, lifelong learning is an inseparable component of their professional identities; hence, they strive to be tactical in managing short-term constraints, assume much responsibility, and adapt to change in their learning practices. Through these strategies, they buy and consolidate their positions in this changing and competitive field. I argue that it is this constant process of capital negotiation that confers ‘professional’ status – that is, part of the group of experts serving as a link between state and citizenry.
I hope this research will inform policy makers and inspire future researchers for further exploration.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Social Science and Public Policy
Depositing User: Lisa Bailey
Date Deposited: 27 Jul 2018 13:55
Last Modified: 27 Jul 2018 13:55
URI: http://eprints.keele.ac.uk/id/eprint/5161

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