The changes to accounting education and accounting educators as a result of changes in the Spanish university system: A case study using an institutional theory approach

González, José María González; Hassall, Trevor
August 2009
International Journal of Management Education (Oxford Brookes Un;2009, Vol. 7 Issue 3, p13
Academic Journal
Accounting education is part of the wider system of higher education provision that in many individual countries has been the subject of an increasing rate of change but it is unclear to what extent these external changes have influenced the delivery of accounting education. The paper uses an institutional theory approach (Meyer & Rowan, 1977; DiMaggio & Powell, 1983; Powell & DiMaggio, 1991) to analyse the pressures exerted by the external institutional constituents on the Spanish higher education system in order to implement the European Higher Education Area. Specifically, the paper analyses the changes caused by these pressures on accounting education, as well as the reactions and behaviours of accounting educators to those changes. It is based on a longitudinal case study at the Department of Accounting of the University of Seville. The case study uses multiple sources including interviews, participant observation, informal discussions and documents. The results evidence the importance of coercive isomorphism on the structuring of the Spanish university system, some factors that have hindered the development of the normative isomorphism in accounting education, and the relevance of regulatory legitimacy to academic career prospects of accounting educators.


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