Attitudes of new appointees to accounting and finance departments in the higher education sector

Angus Duff, Elizabeth A. Monk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)


Holland [Holland, K., 1991. Recruitment by accounting departments in the higher education sector: an analysis of recent employees. British Accounting Review 23, 49–66] and Weetman [Weetman, P., 1993. Recruitment by accounting departments in the higher education sector: a comment on the Scottish experience. The British Accounting Review 25, 287–300] reported studies of appointees to accounting and finance (A&F) departments in the UK and Scotland, respectively. This investigation uses a questionnaire survey, and an analysis of the British Accounting Review Research Register to examine five research questions: (i) the characteristics of recent appointees to UK A&F departments across three time periods, 1998—1999 (N=46), 2000–2001 (N=40), and 2002–2003 (N=55); (ii) subsequent job changes of the populations of appointees in 1998–1999 and 2000–2001; (iii) respondents' motivations for becoming A&F lecturers; (iv) their sources of current occupational discontent; and (v) their proposals for making A&F lecturing posts more attractive. Herzberg's [Herzberg, F., 1968. One more time: How do you motivate employees? Harvard Business Review (reprinted 2003)] motivation–hygiene dual-factor theory is used to conceptualise job satisfaction and dissatisfaction. In turn, issues relating to occupational discontent are described by Rousseau's [Rousseau, D., 1990. New hire perceptions of their own and their employer's obligations: a study of psychological contracts. Journal of Organisational Behaviour 16, 389–400] psychological contract. The findings identify differences in the characteristics of the appointees in both pre-1992 and post-1992 universities. Overall, staff joined with an expectation of flexible hours of working and a desire to carry out research. The most important source of job discontent was the widening salary gap between academe and industry and the profession. Improved salary levels, more time for scholarly activity and better promotion prospects were seen as the most important factors in making the job more attractive. The implications of our findings for new appointees and institutions are discussed, along with suggestions for future research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-220
JournalThe British Accounting Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2006



  • recruitment
  • motivation
  • job dissatisfaction
  • psychological contract

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