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Title: Exploring trainee routes into the accountancy profession in England : a qualitative analysis of educational intervention, socialization and organizational professionalism
Author: Jephson, Nicholas John
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis contributes contemporary knowledge and understanding to the labour process within the English accounting profession. It accomplishes this through an intensive-comparative, qualitative study of the organization of trainee work in six UK accounting firms located in the top fifteen UK firms by turnover. Much literature on the labour process of English accounting assumes that trainees are graduates (Coffey, 1994; Grey, 1994; Anderson-Gough et al, 1998). However recent statistics paint a different picture: almost one in five trainee members of the ICAEW do not have a degree (Financial Reporting Council, 2013). This thesis investigates the perceived reasons for, and organizational opportunities presented by, this change. Organizational justifications for the development and growth of non-graduate routes to a Chartered qualification are found to be principally exploitative in nature, focusing on the drastically reduced wages paid to trainees on non-graduate programmes, as well as elongating the training period (which is characterised by low wages and routinized work) by a minimum of 12 months. The work performed by trainees on non-graduate schemes is found to be almost identical to that performed by graduates, providing strong evidence of the organizationally-developed degradation of trainee work. This degradation, however, is argued to have not had significant effects on the professional value-sets of trainees on non-graduate schemes: they tentatively possess similar aspirations for Chartered membership and to utilise their Chartered credential as a passport to a career in the wider business world. Taken together, these findings act as a retelling of the labour process in English accounting for the twenty-first century. They highlight the degradation of trainee work by organizations and the earlier enacting of the labour process for aspiring professionals. This reorganization also extends our understanding of the changing relationship between organisations, professions and professional service firms.
Supervisor: Tomlinson, J. ; Muzio, D. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available