This study investigates whether personality affect graduate business students’ decisions to start their career in the accounting profession, and at a Big 4 accounting firm. We analyze survey data from 348 graduate students. Results show that students with lower levels of openness to experience are more likely to seek careers in accounting. Further, results show that students with higher levels of narcissism are more likely to start their careers in a Big 4 firm. Additionally, we show that this effect of narcissism is fully mediated by students' attitudes towards the Big 4. Compared to students who seek careers at non-Big 4 firms, Big 4 career seekers believe that the Big 4 offer higher salaries, better opportunities for training, experience, and networking, more advancement opportunities, better career prospects, more interesting, challenging, and fulfilling work, more friendly colleagues, a better relationship with supervisors, more job security, and higher prestige.
Starting Your Career at an Accounting Firm: The Role of Personality in Explaining Career Starts
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Linde Kerckhofs, Kris Hardies, Marie-Laure Vandenhaute, Stefanie Ceustermans; Starting Your Career at an Accounting Firm: The Role of Personality in Explaining Career Starts. Accounting Horizons doi: https://doi.org/10.2308/HORIZONS-2020-001
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