German Business Students’ Career Aspirations in Accounting, Taxation & Finance and Their Relation to Personality Traits

53 Pages Posted: 14 Jun 2018

See all articles by Marcus Bravidor

Marcus Bravidor

Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf

Thomas R. Loy

University of Bayreuth - Business Administration

Jan Krüger

University of Bayreuth

Christina Scharf

University of Bayreuth

Date Written: May 1, 2018

Abstract

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 from a German university. Personality traits are measured using the Big Five Inventory, commonly used in psychology and human resources. In contrast to prior studies, we differentiate between students in management, financial and tax accounting as well as finance. Our results indicate different personality traits for students interested in management accounting and corporate finance compared to those interested in financial and tax accounting. Particularly the latter exhibit higher scores in consciousness (i.e., ethical and responsible behavior) as well as lower scores in openness to experience (i.e., conservative values and judging in conventional terms) and neuroticism. However, effects are weaker for financial accounting students. With regard to the intention of a first job, financial accountants are closer to business students in general. Students interested in professional examinations display distinctive personality traits as well.

Keywords: accounting education, career paths, business administration, human resources, Big five inventory, Germany

JEL Classification: A29, G30, H20, M41, M42

Suggested Citation

Bravidor, Marcus and Loy, Thomas R. and Krüger, Jan and Scharf, Christina, German Business Students’ Career Aspirations in Accounting, Taxation & Finance and Their Relation to Personality Traits (May 1, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3186110 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3186110

Marcus Bravidor (Contact Author)

Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf ( email )

Universitätsstrasse 1
Duesseldorf, NRW 40225
Germany
+49 221 81 15272 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.wirtschaftspruefung.hhu.de/

Thomas R. Loy

University of Bayreuth - Business Administration ( email )

Universitätsstr. 30
Bayreuth, 95447
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.wp.uni-bayreuth.de

Jan Krüger

University of Bayreuth ( email )

Universitatsstr 30
Bayreuth, D-95447
Germany

Christina Scharf

University of Bayreuth ( email )

Universitatsstr 30
Bayreuth, D-95447
Germany

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