Vida Mojtahedzadeh*, Seyed Hossein Alavi Tabari and Maryam Asgharzadeh Badr. Abstract

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1 A Comparison beween Accouning, Business Adminisraion and Theoreical Economics Sudens on he Impac of Their Majors on Personal Saisfacion in Acquiring General Skills Vida Mojahedzadeh*, Seyed Hossein Alavi Tabari and Maryam Asgharzadeh Badr. Absrac This research aemps for he firs ime o survey he personal saisfacion of accouning, business adminisraion and heoreical economics sudens from he general skills and experise acquired hroughou he academic period a he B.A. level, and o apply i as a new crieria for he evaluaion of he qualiy of knowledge of he graduaes and is adequacy for being inroduced in he Iranian job marke. For his purpose, personal graificaion and each person's self eseem in performing heir duies for he full achievemen of he final oucome was defined and classified ino four caegories namely inerpersonal, informaive, analyical and behavioral skills. All necessary informaion was colleced hrough quesionnaires disribued among sudens of accouning, business adminisraion and heoreical economics in heir hird and fourh academic years across Public Universiies hroughou he ciy of Tehran. Resuls obained from saisical ess ANOVA,, ch 2, R and sandardized Bea coefficiens refleced ha sudens in he fields of business adminisraion and heoreical economics enjoy a higher personal saisfacion compared o sudens of accouning. Key Terms: Inerpersonal Skills, Informaive Skills, Behavioral Skills, Accouning Curriculum Inroducion Educaion is he key o he fuure and should be focused on a fuure based raining. A fuurisic approach is a necessiy in achieving individual and group success and educaion mus accoun for his. The insiue of educaion is one of he oldes and mos subborn insiuions in he human sociey and he bigges damage we are facing oday are due o he failure of he same insiue. Facing he fuure has never been so challenging, meanwhile never before have here been so many opporuniies as here are oday. Our challenge is o reach a fuure ha would no be confined o he prisons of he pas. Dr. Vida Mojahedzadeh, Seyed Hossein Alavi Tabari and Maryam Asgharzadeh Badr Al-Zahra Universiy, Tehran, Iran

2 The main objecive of he accouning curriculum is o prepare he sudens o achieve successful resuls in heir exam, obain an academic cerificae and o gain he necessary qualificaions o ener he profession. Considering changes ha he business environmen has undergone, crieria for enrance wihin he profession is consanly changing as well. In respec of he new changes in economics, a new form of professional accounans wih general skills such as communicaions, group work, adminisraion, problem solving, analyical and personal skills mus be rained. The general skills would be defined according o he specific field ha he accounan is working on (De Lang e al., 2006). A hisorical examinaion of he accouning curriculum in Iran hroughou he las fify years reflecs he basic poin ha no fundamenal ransiion has been made in he overall framework of formal accouning insrucion in respec o changes made in he economic environmen. Accordingly, many of he accouning scholars in Iran claim ha graduaes of his field do no have he necessary knowledge and experise for responding o he profession's needs (Zivdar, 2003). Therefore i seems ha he accouning curriculum covered in Iranian Universiies may no be in accordance wih advances of he presen imes (Mojahedzadeh, 200). Under hese condiions and wih respec o he independency of he Commiee of Accouning Curriculum in he Minisry of Sciences, Researches and Technology, i would be considered necessary o carry ou a number of researches o review and improve he accouning curriculum. The presen research aemps o examine he weaknesses and srenghs of he accouning educaional curriculum in Iran. The effeciveness of he program has also been sudied from a differen approach. The saisfacion of sudens from general skills gained hroughou he Bachelor's program has been uilized as a crierion for he effeciveness of accouning insrucion. To dae no research in Iran has been carried ou o examine he graificaion of accouning sudens. Hisory of Research Gabbin (2002) indicaes ha radiional accounans are a "dead generaion" and ha accouning insrucors mus provide cerain adjusmens in he srucure and conen of he accouning curriculum o insruc he graduaes wih cerain ools ha hey will need in he job marke. Mohamed and Lashine (2003) reflec ha curren accouning insrucion models in universiies are no appropriae and adequae in preparing sudens for inroducion o complex job markes. Accouning insrucors need o offer a leadership program o reduce he gap and vacuum ha is presen in acual skills of sudens and hose required by he job markes. Tang e al. (2004) sudied on personal saisfacion of accouning sudens and indicaed ha sudens wih a higher personal saisfacion, can organize heir duies according o a beer imeable, have higher perseverance, and are less prone o erroneous soluions. Arquero e al. (2007) sudied he communicaion skills of accouning sudens in universiies across he Unied Kingdom and Spain and emphasized ha accouning sudens have lower communicaion skills as compared o hose sudying in oher fields of humanisic sciences, regardless of heir naionaliy. Ballanine e al. (2008) were searching for answers o he quesion of wheher a relaionship exiss beween he gender of he sudens and heir performance in 2

3 universiies. Resuls indicaed ha no significan relaionship exiss beween gender and performance of sudens. Moreover, despie wha was expeced by he researchers, saisfacion derived from he performance of sudens and heir level of learning had significanly increased hroughou recen years. Byrne and Flood (2008) sudied he relaionship beween he previous body of knowledge of sudens, heir gender, moives, expecaions and readiness o undergo college educaion and heir performance in Irish Universiies hroughou heir freshman years. Resuls refleced ha a significan relaionship exiss beween he previous knowledge of college sudens and heir performance during firs year of college. Sugahara e al (2008) researched he level of personal saisfacion in sudens of heir general skills. The objecive of his research is o elaborae he saisfacion of sudens a he B.A. level of he skills gained in his period. Moreover he research examined he differences beween saisfacion derived by accouning sudens and ha of oher relaed fields of sudy on gained skills. Resuls showed ha accouning curriculum has a limied impac on a suden's saisfacion of skills gained. Azimi (2007) performed a sudy iled " The Imporance of Changing he Accouning Curriculum and Insrucion Mehods in Iran" and concluded he curren process of accouning is no able o insruc skilled accounans who are able o respond o he ever increasing needs of he profession. Eemadi (998) has emphasized he number of specialized professors and he suden's level of knowledge of foreign languages. He believes ha he wo iems menioned previously and he accouning concepual framework is amongs he main facors ha significanly impac he accouning educaion process. Mojahedzadeh (200) examined he poins of view of hose employed wihin he accouning profession on he conens of he accouning curriculum a he B.A. level in Iranian universiies and indicaed: ) The accouning curriculum mus emphasize equally he hree secions of general, specialized and accouning knowledge. 2) General knowledge mus focus more on communicaions, mahemaics, social sciences and humanisic sciences and less on he naural sciences. 3) IT mus be placed among he specialized iems of he accouning course. Noravesh (2003), claimed ha o respond o he ever changing environmen, cerain adjusmens should be made o he universiy curriculum as well and academic programs would have o be renewed. Raeeszadeh (2009), has sudied and deermined he poins of view of universiy sudens, professors and hose employed in he profession owards he prioriy of he specialized fields, accouning syllabus conen, new accouning subjecs, deerminaion of he number of unis for each subjec and he mos effecive insrucion mehod for creaing a framework for planning he accouning curriculum a he B.A. and graduae level. According o research resuls based on he fuzzy approach, i could be claimed ha a significan difference exiss beween he prioriies of he various accouning majors, he presen conen of specialized subjecs, new subjecs required for he adjusmen of he academic curriculum, he number of unis allocaed o each subjec and he mos effecive insrucion mehod. 3

4 Research Objecives and Hypohesis The firs objecive of he research is o sudy he amoun of saisfacion derived by sudens of accouning, business adminisraion and heoreical economics a he B.A. level of he general skills acquired and subsequenly he deerminaion of he impac of accouning major on any increase in his feeling. The second objecive is a comparison of he saisfacion derived by accouning sudens wih hose sudying business adminisraion and heoreical economics of he general skills acquired. To reach he objecives, he following hypohesis was formulaed: A significan difference exiss beween saisfacions of accouning, business adminisraion and heoreical economics sudens from general skills acquired a he B.A. level. The Research A comparison was made of he average saisfacion score of sudens on four ypes of skills including 2 skill secions, among wo groups of sudens, using -es. Moreover, regression analysis was applied o sudy he impac of independen and conrol variables on he dependen variable. The independen variable of he research would be he sudens major (MAJ). Independen variable is he general skills ha a suden acquires hroughou his Bachelor's course. General skills include 4 ypes of skills namely, "Inerpersonal Skills (INTE)", "Informaional Skills (INFO)", "Analyical Skills (ANAL)" and "Behavioral Skills (BEHA)". Each skill is made up of hree secions which end up wih a oal of 2 skill secions. Thus four regressions composed of each skill group have been formulaed. Conrol variables include Gender (GEN), job experience (JOB) and he Academic Year (ACA). The following regressions were formulaed for he four skills: INTE: The score represening a suden's personal saisfacion from inerpersonal skills measured by LSP. INFO: The score represening a suden's personal saisfacion from informaive skills measured by LSP. ANAL: The score represening a suden's personal saisfacion from echnical skills measured by LSP. BEHA: The score represening a suden's personal saisfacion from behavioral skills measured by LSP. GEN: A score of one was given o female and a score of wo o male respondens. JOB: A score of one was given o respondens wih job experience and wo o hose wih no job experience. ACA: A score of one was given o respondens in heir hird academic year and for hose in heir fourh year and higher a score of wo was given. 4

5 MAJ: A score of one was given o respondens wih an accouning major and wo for hose wih majors in heoreical economics and business adminisraion. ε : Measuremen Error. Table : General Skill Types and Subdivisions General Skills Inerpersonal Skills (INTE), a group of skills indicaive of an individual's emoional and personal skills Informaive Skills (INFO), a group of skills enabling an individual o accep and organize new informaion Analyical Skills (ANAL), a group of skills in raional hinking ha enables an individual o enac heir houghs Behavioral Skills (BEHA), a group of skills relaed o acions and creaions Skill Subdivisions. Leadership: he abiliy o creae incenives and moivae ohers, o convince ohers o agree wih one's personal views, he abiliy o negoiae and o creae an energeic eam. 2. Relaionships: he abiliy o connec in an accepable manner, faciliae communicaions and work as a eam. 3. Help: he abiliy o be sensiive o ohers' needs and o assis ohers in aking advanage of opporuniies provided for personal growh and awareness. 4. Sense Making: he abiliy o adap, change and handle new siuaions and o define new sraegies and soluions. 5. Informaion Gahering: he abiliy o be sensiive and aware of organizaional evens, o lisen wih an open mind and o develop and uilize ideas. 6. Informaion Analysis: he abiliy o simulae informaion received from various sources o undersand specialized informaion for purposes of general communicaions and is uilizaion. 7. Theory: he abiliy o adop a vas oulook for undersanding and applying ideas and heories in sysems and he applicaion of models o predic a paern. 8. Quanifying: he abiliy o use quaniaive ools for problem analysis and solving and o make sense of he financial saemens. 9. Technology: he abiliy o work wih a compuer and compuer neworks for informaion analysis and organizaion and o creae or simulae compuer models. 0. Goal Seing: he abiliy o se operaing sandards for supervision and he measuremen of progress according o he goal and o make cos effecive decisions.. Acion: he abiliy o become involved in goals wih due consideraion of limiaions, in an imporunae and efficien manner. 2. Iniiaive: he abiliy o explore and make use of opporuniies considering risks and aciviies. In his research SPSS 0 has been used for he analysis of daa. The hypoheses were esed in he 5% significan level; in oher words, α is equal o 5% and hus he cerainy level would be 95%. Saisical Populaion The arge populaion in his research would be all sudens in heir hird and fourh academic years majoring in accouning, business adminisraion and heoreical economics during across public universiies in Tehran. 5

6 Table 2: The Volume of Saisical Populaion Major Third Academic Fourh Academic Toal Year Year Accouning Business Adminisraion Theoreical Economics Toal Sampling Mehod and Sample Size In he presen research, random sampling has been used. I has been assumed ha he saisical populaion has a normal disribuion and he hypohesis (based on resuls from primary sudies and invesigaions) an approval raio of 50% (p, q = 50%), ha wih a 95% cerainy (Z=.96) and ha he esimaion error in a cerainy level of less han 5% (d= 0.05) he sample size has been deermined according o he equaion below (Azar and Momeni, 998): n = N: Populaion Size p: Success (approval) raio of he hypohesis d: Sample Esimaion Error n: Sample Size q: Failure (rejecion) raio of he hypohesis Thus he size of he sample was deermined o be 290 individuals (including 0 majoring in accouning, 88 in business adminisraion, and 94 in heoreical economics). Daa Collecion Quesionnaires were used o collec informaion. The quesionnaires were disribued across he ciy of Tehran and among college sudens in heir hird and fourh academic years a he B.A. level. The number of reurned shees of quesionnaires included 22 by accouning sudens (09 were usable), and 88 by business adminisraion and heoreical economics (88 belonging o business adminisraion and 93 heoreical economics). Demography Informaion A oal of 290 individuals were surveyed for purposes of his research, ou of which 09 (37.6 percen) included accouning sudens, and 8 (62.4 percen) sudens majoring in business adminisraion and heoreical economics. 6

7 Table 3: Demography Informaion Accouning Non-Accouning Disribuion Percenage Disribuion Percenage Female Male Third Year Fourh Year Experienced Inexperienced Resuls from Tesing he Hypoheses Saisical hypoheses were formed as follows: H 0 : No significan difference exiss beween saisfacions derived by accouning sudens from general skills acquired wih sudens of business adminisraion and heoreical economics a he B.A. level. H : A significan difference exiss beween saisfacions derived by accouning sudens from general skills acquired wih sudens of business adminisraion and heoreical economics a he B.A. level. Resuls indicae ha he average score earned by accouning sudens of he saisfacion derived from general skills acquired (246/87± 65.09) is less han he saisfacion score earned by sudens of business adminisraion and heoreical economics (286/02± 69.56). The resuls from independen ess approve he difference in he (P < 0.05) as well. Therefore he hypohesis (H 0 ) is rejeced and he (H ) approved. In oher words i can be concluded ha: A significan difference exiss beween saisfacions derived by accouning sudens from general skills acquired wih sudens of business adminisraion and heoreical economics a he B.A. level. Table 4: Resuls of Comparaive Tess on he Average Saisfacion Gained from Skills Acquired Groups Average Sandard Difference Accouning Oher Majors Average Sandard Paramee r Degree of Freedo m Amoun Four independen subcaegories of hypoheses were formed based on he four general skill caegories including "Inerpersonal Skills", "Informaive Skills", "Technical Skills", and "Behavioral Skills": Hypohesis -: A significan difference exiss beween saisfacions derived by accouning sudens from inerpersonal skills acquired wih sudens of business 7

8 Hypohesis 2-: A significan difference exiss beween saisfacions derived by accouning sudens from informaive skills acquired wih sudens of business Hypohesis 3-: A significan difference exiss beween saisfacions derived by accouning sudens from analyical skills acquired wih sudens of business Hypohesis 4-: A significan difference exiss beween saisfacions derived by accouning sudens from behavioral skills acquired wih sudens of business Resuls from Tesing Hypoheses -, 2-, 3-,4- Resuls of hese ess have been refleced in ables 5,6,7,8 and indicae ha: - A significan difference exiss beween saisfacions derived by accouning sudens from inerpersonal skills acquired wih sudens of business 2- A significan difference exiss beween saisfacions derived by accouning sudens from informaive skills acquired wih sudens of business 3- A significan difference exiss beween saisfacions derived by accouning sudens from analyical skills acquired wih sudens of business 4- A significan difference exiss beween saisfacions derived by accouning sudens from behavioral skills acquired wih sudens of business Table 5: Resuls of Comparaive Tess on he Average Saisfacion Gained in he Inerpersonal Aspec Groups Average Sandard Accouning Oher Majors Average Difference Sandard Paramee r Degree of Freedo m Amoun Table 6: Resuls of Comparaive Tess on he Average Saisfacion Gained in he Informaive Aspec Groups Average Sandard Accouning Groups Oher Average Sandard Majors Average Difference Sandard Paramee r Degree of Freedo m Amoun Difference Degree Amoun Paramee of 8

9 Accouning Oher Majors Average Sandard Paramee r of Freedo m Table 7: Resuls of Comparaive Tess on he Average Saisfacion Gained in he Analyical Aspec Table 8: Resuls of Comparaive Tess on he Average Saisfacion Gained in he Analyical Aspec Groups Average Sandard Accouning Oher Majors Average Difference Sandard Paramee r Degree of Freedo m Amoun Resuls of Laeral Tess In his secion, he impac of he conrol variables namely gender, academic year and job experience on he dependen variable of he research shall be examined hrough he ANOVA es. Moreover, amouns were calculaed for muliple regression coefficiens (R) (o deermine he share of changes in he dependen variable from independen variables) and he sandardized coefficiens based on he H disribuion (Bea) (o deermine he independen variable wih he sronges impac on dependen variables), and he F es was carried ou (o deermine he significance level for he whole es). Resuls from hese ess and hose obained from regression analysis have been refleced in ables 9 o 20. 9

10 Table 9: Resuls of Regression Analysis Summary Adjused R Sd. Error of R R Square Square he Esimae.753 a a. Predicors: (Consan), JOB, MAJ, Gender, ACA a. Regression Residual Toal Table 0: Resuls of he ANOVA Tes ANOVA b Sum of Squares df Mean Square F Sig a Predicors: (Consan), JOB, MAJ, Gender, ACA b. Dependen Variable: Inerpersonal Skills Table : Sandardized Bea a. (Consan) Gender ACA MAJ JOB Non-sandardized Dependen Variable: Inerpersonal Skills a Sandardized B Sd. Error Bea Sig Table 2: Regression Analysis Resuls Summary Adjused R Sd. Error of R R Square Square he Esimae.769 a a. Predicors: (Consan), JOB, MAJ, Gender, ACA Table 3: Resuls of he ANOVA Tes 0

11 a. Regression Residual Toal ANOVA b Sum of Squares df Mean Square F Sig a Predicors: (Consan), JOB, MAJ, Gender, ACA b. Dependen Variable: Informaive Skills Table 4: Sandardized Bea a. (Consan) Gender ACA MAJ JOB Non-sandardized Dependen Variable: Informaive Skills a Sandardized B Sd. Error Bea Sig Table 5: Regression Analysis Resuls Summary Adjused R Sd. Error of R R Square Square he Esimae.764 a a. Predicors: (Consan), JOB, MAJ, Gender, ACA Regression Residual Toal Table 6: Resuls of he ANOVA Tes ANOVA b Sum of Squares df Mean Square F Sig a a. Predicors: (Consan), JOB, MAJ, Gender, ACA b. Dependen Variable: Analyical Skills

12 Table 7: Sandardized Bea (Consan) Gender ACA MAJ JOB Non-sandardized a. Dependen Variable: Analyical Skills a Sandardized B Sd. Error Bea Sig Table 8: Regression Analysis Resuls Summary Adjused R Sd. Error of R R Square Square he Esimae.758 a a. Predicors: (Consan), JOB, MAJ, Gender, ACA Regression Residual Toal Table 9: Resuls of he ANOVA Tes ANOVA b Sum of Squares df Mean Square F Sig a a. Predicors: (Consan), JOB, MAJ, Gender, ACA b. Dependen Variable: Behavioral Skills Table 20: Sandardized Bea (Consan) Gender ACA MAJ JOB a. Dependen Variable: Behavioral Skills a Non-sandardized Sandardized B Sd. Error Bea Sig

13 Conclusion and Suggesions The presen research has aemped o sudy he level of saisfacion derived by accouning sudens and sudens of business adminisraion and heoreical economics from general skills acquired a he B.A. level. Resuls have indicaed ha he academic major aken up by an individual has a significan impac on he saisfacion derived by hem in all four aspecs of general skills; in all hese aspecs he saisfacion derived by sudens of business adminisraion and heoreical economics has been higher han ha of he accouning sudens. Thus i may be inerpreed ha he accouning curriculum has been unsuccessful in promoing he skills required from accouning graduaes in he job marke. The resuls have moreover shown ha job experience has a significan and posiive relaionship wih saisfacion derived by he sudens of he skills gained in all aspecs. Therefore i is srongly suggesed o include an inernship subjec in he college curriculum. Wih respec o gender, a significan difference was observed among male and female sudens only in he analyical skill aspec and according o he resuls, male sudens derived more saisfacion from skills gained han heir female counerpars. This conrol variable had no significan impac on he oher hree skills. Wih respec o research resuls, i is suggesed ha in order o promoe he skills of accouning sudens and o respond o he profession's requiremens in Iran, he accouning curriculum be reviewed so ha graduaes majoring in his field be prepared in inerpersonal, informaive, analyical and behavioral skills o be employed in relaed jobs and o focus more on he inernship and pracice of sudens. References. Arquero, J. L., T. Hassall, J. Joyce and J. A. Donoso; (2007); Accouning Sudens and Communicaion Apprehension: A Sudy of Spanish and UK Sudens ; European Accouning Review, Vol. 6(2), pp Azar, Adel and Mansour Momeni; (998); Saisics and is Applicaion in Managemen; Volume & 2, Firs ediion, Tehran, Sam Publicaions. 3. Azimi, Majid; (997); "The Necessiy of Changing he Accouning curriculum and Mehod in Iran"; A Disseraion for he Maser of Ars Degree, Tarbia Modarres Universiy. 4. Ballanine, Joan, A. Angus Duff and Paricia Mc Cour Larres ; (2008); Accouning and Business Sudens' Approaches o Learning: A Longiudinal Sudy ; 5. Byrne, Marann and Barbara Flood; (2008); Examining he Relaionship among Background Variables and Academic Performance of firs year Accouning Sudens a an Irish Universiy ; 6. De. Lang, P., B. Jacking and A. Gu; (2006); Accouning Graduaes Percepions of Skills emphasis in Undergraduae Courses: An Invesigaion 3

14 from wo Vicorian Universiies ; Accouning and Finance, Vol. 46(3), pp Eemadi, Hossein; (998); "Idenificaion of Facors and Obsacles of Growh he Accouning Curriculum in Iran and he Presenaion of an Efficien Curriculum"; A Disseraion for Ph. D. in Accouning; Tarbia Modarres Universiy. 8. Gabbin, A. L.; (2002); The Crisis in Accouning Educaion ; Journal of Accounancy, Vol. 93(4), pp Mohamed E. K. A. and S. H. Lashine; (2003); Accouning Knowledge and Skills and he Challenges of a Global Business Environmen ; Managerial Finance, Vol. 29(7), pp Mojahedzadeh, Vida; (200); "A Sudy of he Accouning Curriculum in Iranian Universiies (A he B.A. Level); he Humanisic Sciences Journal of he Universiy of Al-Zahra", Year Eleven, Numbers 37 & 38 (Spring and Summer).. Nowravesh, Iraj; (382); "A Research on he Compilaion of he Accouning Curriculum a he B.A. Level in Accordance wih he Requiremens of he Accouning and Audiing Profession in Iran"; A Disseraion for Ph. D. in Accouning, Universiy of Tehran, College of Adminisraive Sciences and Managemen. 2. Raees Zadeh, Seyyed Mohammad Reza; (2009); "Deermining Requiremens and prioriies for he Educaional Conen of he Accouning Curriculum from he Viewpoin of Sudens, Universiy Professors, and Professionals and he Presenaion of an Effecive "; A Disseraion for Ph. D. in Accouning, Science and Research Uni of he Islamic Azad Universiy". 3. Sugahara, Saoshi, Kazumi Suzuki and Greg Boland; (2008); Sudens Major Choice in Accouning and is Effec on heir Self-efficacy owards Generic Skills: An Ausralian Sudy ; Presened in he ninh Inernaional Accouning Conference of AAAA in Dubai. 4. Tang, M., K. D. Addison, D. Lasure-Bryan, R. Norman, W. O Connell and A. Sewar-Sicking; (2004); Facor ha Influence Self-Efficacy of Counseling Sudens: An Exploraory Sudy ; Counselor Educaion & Supervision, Vol. 44(), pp Zivdar, Zohre; (2003); "The Significance of Various Fields of Knowledge and Skills and he Level of College Training for Enrance ino he Accouning Profession"; A Disseraion for he Maser of Ars Degree, Tehran, College of Social Sciences and Economics, Universiy of Al-Zahra. 4

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