Personality Traits across Accounting Students' Life Cycle
81 Pages Posted: 14 Jun 2018 Last revised: 18 Apr 2019
Date Written: April 11, 2019
We analyze the interrelation between personality traits and German business students’ propensity to select financial accounting, management accounting, tax accounting, or corporate finance as their major field of study, to seek a first job in one of these areas as well as their intention to pursue a professional examination in audit or tax. The study is based on a survey of 428 students at a German university. Personality traits are measured using the Big Five Inventory, commonly used in psychology and human resources research. In contrast to prior studies, we differentiate between students in management, financial and tax accounting as well as finance. Our results indicate stronger differences in personality traits within a certain subfield (e.g., tax accounting) and between subfields (e.g., financial accounting compared to all other subfields) than between accounting and non-accounting students. Our additional analyses indicate that differences in personality traits between subfields are susceptible to individual differences, such as the socio-demographic background.
Keywords: accounting education, career paths, business administration, human resources, Big five inventory, Germany
JEL Classification: A29, G30, H20, M41, M42
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