Using a group work project as an educational tool in management accounting education

Rudman, Riaan ; Kruger, Wandi (2014-05)

Publication of this article was funded by the Stellenbosch University Open Access Fund.

The original publication is available at

Rudman, R. & Kruger, W. 2014. Using a group work project as an educational tool In management accounting education. International Business & Economics Research Journal, 13(3):611-628.


Having pervasive skills is becoming more important to employers as well as to professional bodies and associations. Consequently, the ability to work in groups is regarded as an essential skill. Although working in groups is found to heighten the performance of students and lead to the development of various pervasive skills, group work still forms a very small part of most South African tertiary education teaching frameworks. As a consequence, most professional bodies have updated their competency models and syllabuses they prescribe to tertiary institutions. In response to this development, the Department of Accounting at Stellenbosch University in South Africa has developed a management accounting project requiring students to prepare a business plan for a new business venture while working in groups, giving consideration to the skills they believe they should develop. A questionnaire was created to investigate students’ perceptions of group work. Responses were favourable with the majority of respondents being of the opinion that the ability to work in groups is an important skill to develop while at university before commencing their professional careers. The study highlighted some obstacles which need to be considered in developing a project requiring group work. The main constraints appear to be group selection, group size, group management and assessing group work and time.

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