Career development in management accounting: empirical evidence
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Purpose - Due to globalization and digitalization, the world of work is undergoing comprehensive change. These trends are challenging management accounting (MA) and pressuring individuals and organizations to change. The literature postulates a replacement of traditional organizational careers by ?new? career models characterized by dynamism and flexibility. However, the state of the art on careers in MA lacks empirical evidence and has disparate research interests.
Design/methodology/approach - In this study, the authors investigate the status quo of careers in MA, key influencing factors and assumed change in such careers. To do so, the authors conducted a quantitative empirical study, based primarily on the careers of 83 graduates of a department offering a MA major at a German-speaking university. Nine qualitative empirical interviews supplement the quantitative findings.
Findings - The authors? findings indicate that while MA careers are changing, the characteristics of the profession are continuing to concur with the traditional organizational understanding of careers. Accumulated professional experience is the key factor to achieving a management position although management accountants tend to become more dynamic in terms of career paths and career understanding. Thus, employment in various functional areas opens new career paths in MA.
Research limitations/implications - The methodology of analysing quantitative and empirical cross-sectional data and the resulting final sample size is too small to guarantee robust statistical inference. Moreover, further interviews would lead to greater data saturation.
Practical implications - The study sheds light on the under-researched question of how careers in MA proceed and develop. This could be of interest for practitioners working with management accountants such as personnel consultants.
Originality/value - This study contributes to the field through its comprehensive consideration of careers in MA in this changed context, thus providing new insights for academia and business practice.