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Students' beliefs, attitudes and intentions to major in accounting

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This study extends the literature that uses the theory of planned behaviour in examining the factors that impact on students' intentions to major in accounting and non-accounting disciplines. A survey of a sample of business students enrolled in an introductory accounting course in a New Zealand University was conducted to gather data about their intended academic majors, and their beliefs and attitudes towards majoring in accounting and non-accounting. The results show that three factors (personal, referents, and control) are determinants of students' intention to major in accounting or other business disciplines. Further analysis revealed that the students' major intentions are influenced by important referents' perceptions. In particular, parents appear to have a stronger influence on students' intentions to major in accounting. Comparisons of differential personal perceptions by accounting and non-accounting majors revealed that accounting majors hold positive perceptions of some of the qualities of the study of accounting and the accounting profession. Significant differences were also found in the control perception between accounting and non-accounting major students.

Keywords: Accounting major; accounting career; accounting education; accounting profession

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Massey University, New Zealand

Publication date: 2006-06-01

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