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    Accountants’ Commitment to Their Profession: Multiple D...
    research summary posted May 9, 2012 by The Auditing Section, last edited May 25, 2012, tagged 05.0 Audit Team Composition, 05.04 Staff Hiring, Turnover and Morale 
    Accountants’ Commitment to Their Profession: Multiple Dimensions of Professional Commitment and Opportunities for Future Research
    Practical Implications:

    This paper studies professional commitment and is of importance to practitioners. The results contribute to a greater understanding of how accountants’ professional commitment forms. Most importantly, it helps practitioners to better understand how the combination of an accountant’s professional commitment and other factors influence work related outcomes (e.g. work performance, turnover intentions, job satisfaction, ethical development, etc.).


    Hall, M., D. Smith, and K. Langfield-Smith. 2005.  Accountants’ Commitment to Their Profession: Multiple Dimensions of Professional Commitment and Opportunities for Future Research. Behavioral Research in Accounting 17: 89-109.

    Purpose of the Study:

    Professional commitment (PC) refers to the attachments that individuals form to their profession. Since PC has been linked to important outcomes such as improved work performance, reduced turnover intentions, and greater satisfaction at both the organizational and professional levels, it is very important to develop a more complete understanding of individuals’ PC. Professional Commitment consists of three dimensions, including affective PC (of or relating to experience of feeling or emotion), continuance PC, and normative PC. The primary purpose of this study is to examine the different dimensions of PC, how they develop, and how they affect accountants’ professional and organizational outcomes.

    Design/Method/ Approach:

    Not applicable; this is a review paper.

    • Affective PC leads one to willingly stay in his/her profession. Continuance PC leads one to stay in the profession because of the high costs associated with leaving. Normative PC leads one to remain in the profession out of a sense of obligation.
    • The factors which affect affective PC include job level, personal characteristics (personality type and ethical orientation), organizational characteristics (work environment such as public accounting, private industry, or government), and situational factors (e.g. satisfaction with rewards). Affective PC together with job and professional satisfaction influence employees’  urnover intentions, organizational-professional conflict, and ethical attitudes and decision making.
    • Examining multiple dimensions of PC may provide a more complete understanding of an individual’s commitment to his/her profession.
    Audit Team Composition
    Staff Hiring - Turnover & Morale
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