Purpose The purpose of this paper is to investigate the generic skills that are important for the career success of accounting graduates in Sri Lanka from the perspectives of university educators and employers.
Design/methodology/approach Bui and Porter's (2010) expectation-performance gap framework was modified to match with the context of the current study. Data collected via questionnaire survey was analysed for non-parametric tests: the Wilcoxon signed-rank test and the Mann-Whitney test, using SPSS version 20, and quantified the expectation-performance gap and its components.
Findings The major finding of this research is that the main cause for the expectation-performance gap, as identified in the analysis of the constraint gap is university educators’ low confidence in teaching the required generic skills for career success of graduates. However, university educators are aware of the employer expectations of graduate accountants in terms of generic skills. Employers indicated that many of the generic skills are not achieved by the accounting graduates.
Practical implications Findings of this study reflect the importance of expanding the accounting curricula by embedding and assessing generic skill development activities. In addition, it is vital to develop the capacities of university educators in terms of teaching and assessing generic skills in accounting degree programmes.
Originality/value This study contributes to the literature as one of few studies that investigate the generic skills development of accounting graduates in Asia, particularly in Sri Lanka.
Field of Research
130313 Teacher Education and Professional Development of Educators
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