Lecturers' professional identity : the chase of chartered accountants in academia

Bitzer, E. ; De Jager, E. (2016)

CITATION: Bitzer, E. & De Jager, E. 2016. Lecturers' professional identity : the chase of chartered accountants in academia. South African Journal of Higher Education, 30(4):171‒189, doi:10.20853/30-4-624.

The original publication is available at http://www.journals.ac.za/index.php/sajhe

Article

This study surveyed a number of accounting lecturers at a research-intensive South African university to determine their perceptions and preferences regarding their own professional identity. How university lecturers see and experience their own professional identity is important as such views influence the way they teach, participate in professional learning opportunities and attach value to what they do. The findings indicate that professional identity is not a stable construct, that it is related to personal choices and influenced by a number of contextual factors. The participant group of accounting lecturers indicated their professional identity as primarily being professional lecturers rather than professional chartered accountants, but background variables did not seem to play a significant role in their professional identity formation, nor was role conflict identified as being a major factor. The findings imply that if accounting lectures consider themselves as professional university lecturers rather than professional chartered accountants, excelling as academics and educators would contribute towards excellence in the teaching of accounting.

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