Introduction to Concept
This Leadership accounting professionals assignment Present paper highlights the need of soft skills into the field of accounting profession where in importance of soft skill especially leadership has not been emphasized till date. With increasing development in the field of accounting profession trend is gradually changing as the stakeholders in accounting profession require little additional value from disciple in area of development of soft skills. Introduction of soft skill into accounting profession would help the learners to implement real life application and develop a business mindset which would help them in their successful career. Leadership skills imparted in the accounting discipline would help the students to stand different from the mass.
Requirement of leadership and related soft skills into accounting profession are much debated subject and recently has become one of the prime importance subjects for the current literature development (Clement, 2006). There are several benefits which are offered by the leadership development programme for the accounting professionals. Some of the key benefits offered by the leadership development programmes for the accounting professionals include ability to motivate other, play strategic role for organization and development of consensus among the team members. These key benefits of leadership development programme are essential for any accounting professional so as to play an important role in their organisation.
For accounting professional it is essential to highlight the importance of communication skills and change management approaches as these would help them to manage their workplace situations which are quiet demanding at initial stage of their job (Carmichael and Brewer, 2009). Also leadership development programme are of prime importance for the several accounting firms and corporate as these organizations pay attention towards the development of soft skills among their existing employees as well as employees which are recruited by the firm for any position in the organisation.
The present concept in the article reject the conventional view point where in literature have developed the convention that soft skill development among the accounting professional has been fulfilled through other subject areas and there is no need among the accounting professionals for soft skill development. Also the present paper strongly recommends the need for development of soft skills such as business communication skill, leadership and team management among the accounting professional so that they have effective management control on the workplace situations (Milgram, 1965). Further present concept tries to fill up the gap between the desire from stakeholders for requirement of knowledge from the coursework and essential learning/outcomes of the accounting coursework design.
Development of leadership qualities among the learners of accounting profession is strongly supported by the professor in accounting profession more than any other discipline for the reason that literature has highlighted the gap for soft skills in area of accounting (Bennis, 2003). Support for need of leadership development in area of accounting profession can be understood by way of vast literature present which identifies the gap between student expectation and knowledge imparted by the course module for accounting profession.
Many corporate firms have highlighted the importance of development of soft skills among their workforce especially the accounting firm such as the KPMG, PwC, Deloitte, Earnest & Young, Johnson & Johnson. All these organizations have spent a big part of their overall expenditure on training and development for soft skill development (Paine, 1994). Also there wide importance paid to the presence of soft skills among the employees which are recruited through out of the organisation looking at the importance of soft skills. Accounting professional bodies have started supporting the initiative of development of leadership among the accounting profession by organizing Annual student leadership conference which has the main motive to aware students about the role of leadership in their accounting profession.
Survey conducted regarding leadership module provides support for the relevance of leadership in area of accounting profession. As revealed from the survey that students have given average score of 4.70 to importance of leadership skills for the accounting professionals. Further for both accounting as well as non accounting learner result for importance of leadership skills have been evaluated close to 5 which supports leadership strategies challenges for accounting professionals as well. Score for relevance of six major classes to students in the accounting profession has been observed close to 4.62.
The present research methodology has been inspired from the Klobs learning cycle which moves through four important cycles which are concrete experience, reflective observation, abstract conceptualisation and active experimentation. For the present research concrete experience relates to the various observations and experience obtained regarding importance of leadership for the corporate accounting professionals. Reflective observation helps in developing analysis for highlighting importance of leadership among students for accounting discipline. Abstract development phase initiate from the results shown with the help of primary data and secondary data (Paine and Sesia, 2006). Primary data would provide the analysis with help of questionnaire while secondary research would develop analysis regarding leadership programme development. Finally active experimentation process would provide the impacts which soft skill would make on accounting professional in handling them strategic position in the organization.
There are several limitations of the present research which focuses on the importance of leadership skills in accounting professional domain and recommend the involvement of teaching leadership skills for accounting professionals so as to handle workplace situations. Some of the key limitations which are encountered in the research include difficulty in understanding importance of leadership skills from the key stakeholder and playing role for development of leadership skills among the learners for accounting discipline. Some of the other key limitation includes development of the practical learning aspects in the curriculum for the accounting professionals and emphasis on the soft skill development during start of the career (Kaplan and Kiron, 2005).
Discussion on broader topic
The broader topic addressed with the help of present topic is the importance of leadership skills in the career for accounting professional and role it has in developing leadership mindset for the students for accounting discipline. There are two different aspects which has been highlighted as the key contribution to literature review by the present article which includes need to address requirement of leadership skills for the accounting professionals and development of the six lesson plan in order to develop the leadership skills among the students in accounting domain.
The first topic conveyed by the research includes importance of the leadership skills to the career of accounting professionals. In order to highlight the importance of leadership skills for accounting professionals literature review has identified the gap which is present in the stakeholder expectation and shareholder expectation in order to address the issue of leadership for accounting professionals (Quinn et al, 2004). Also the topic of importance for leadership skills among accounting professional has been addressed by the practice followed in some of the key accounting corporate such as the PwC, Deloitte and KPMG. The practice followed by these institutions for development leadership skills shows that these organisations are making best possible efforts in order to train their existing employees and making sure that new recruits have enough leadership skills to handle the strategic role with their organisation.
Further in order to address this topic survey has been conducted which emphasis that students themselves are accepting the wide importance of the soft skills and leadership skills in their curriculum and admit a large gap between the expected and generally followed norms which is a big cause of concern (Massey and Van Hise, 2009). Also several authors have highlighted with the help of literature that gap exist between the expectation which is supported from the shareholder Vs stakeholder theory and Timberland theory.
Second broader aspect conveyed by the present research paper is the development of six lessons in order to develop the leadership skills among the accounting professionals. There are two main aspects of the overall plan build to develop leadership module which are define vision and motivating other and establishment of culture for organizational integrity (Barrett, 2003). The first part of the lesson module consist of three lesson which emphasis on defining a vision for the overall leadership development plan and case study undertaken for this is Timberland which figure out the stakeholder vs shareholder theory. Further first module look upon motivating individuals and teams to enable achievement of goals set for them. Case study referred for this module was Coach K Vs Coach Knight which shows the teaching style adopted and rejected by students for learning. Other part of the lesson module has the objective for creating effective governance so that leadership development programmes can be effectively managed so that students can gain maximum possible benefits from the leadership development programme. Case study undertaken in order to convey the topic is WorldCom which shows the accounting fraud in absence of the accurate governance policies (Leap and Loughry, 2004). Also last two parts of the module for leadership development include building ethical culture and building ethical decisions based on the ethical culture developed in the organisation. Case study undertaken in order to develop the ethical consideration was Sears’s auto centre while case study adopted for making ethical considerations was “The importance of commitments”. These two cases studies show the development of ethical consideration and decision making process which is dependent upon the ethical culture developed.
Compare and contrast the applicability of the Research Approach
Research approach adopted in order to develop the present research which was regarding development of the leadership skills among the accounting professional and teaching ways to develop leadership skills with lesson matrix. Approach followed in order to conduct was quiet similar to the business research undertaken by the various researchers so as to fulfil any business objectives such as the analysis of key trends in market, validating any hypothesis or exploring new domains for the given situations (Smith, 2003).
Research adopted for the present context was similar in approach as it took help from the several data collection methods including primary as well as secondary resources. Among the primary data resource research has taken help from the survey method which is widely used for the business research in various business contexts. Further secondary data resource employed for the research was similar to the business research as it took help from the various literatures developed by authors as well as obtained concept from the live case studied which are reliable source of the primary data. This way of research methodology has helped to collect data at fast pace and reliable data which can be used for the ultimate decision making process (Thomson, 2008). Also collecting data through several resource helps in order to avoid any kind of probable biases in data which may affect the data collection and final results adversely.
Research methodology observed in the present context was adopted from the Kolbe learning cycle which route the entire research methodology process through four critical stages which are concrete experience, reflection, abstract building and active experimentation. Similar is the model which can be implemented for any business research as there are high similarities in both the research cycles (Shaw, 2006).
There are several differences which can be obtained in the present research as compared to the business research is involvement of high amount of statistical data i.e. business research are little more quantitative in nature while present research being an academic research was highly qualitative in nature. Further there are certain objectives set for the business research which needs to be followed and research hypothesis is developed based on the research objectives and research is assumed successful on completion of the research objectives during research (Ryan, 2009). Present research being an academic research was subjective in nature and does not outline the clear objectives and aim of the research which can be pursued as a part of the overall research.
Present research can be extended for future as well as and there is lot of scope in order to extend the present research. In future present research can be extended in order to develop the governance in order to develop among the accounting professional and issues confronted while teaching leadership development programme to accounting professionals. Further present research is of high importance for the future as it would help the learners to carry out research in future in academic or some other discipline as it has helped in gaining firsthand experience of the research methodology. The research undertaken in the present context was quiet interesting as it was the first time we had experience on the live research which was similar to the business research and has academic motives.
- Clement, R. W. 2006. Just how unethical is American business? Business Horizons 49 (4): 313–327.
- Milgram, S. 1965. Study in Obedience to Authority. University Park, PA: Penn State Media Sales.
- Paine, L. S. 1994. Managing for organizational integrity. Harvard Business Review 72 (2): 106–117.
- Paine, L. S., and A. Sesia. 2006. Teaching note: Sears Auto Centers (A) and (B) (Abridged) and (C). Harvard Business School Teaching Note #5-307-036. Boston, MA: Harvard
- Kaplan, R. S., and D. Kiron. 2005. Accounting Fraud at WorldCom. Harvard Business School Case #9-104-071. Boston, MA: Harvard Business Publishing.
- Austin, J., H. B. Leonard, and J. W. Quinn. 2004. Timberland: Commerce and Justice. Harvard Business School Case #9-305-002. Boston, MA: Harvard Business Publishing