Oral and written communication apprehension in accounting students: curriculum impacts and impacts on academic performance
Gardner, Clare T; Milne, Markus J; Stringer, Carolyn P; Whiting, Rosalind H
In the context of an accounting curriculum that has been significantly modified over the past decade in response to calls for skills development, this study investigates the impacts of curriculum on students’ levels of communication apprehension. An emerging concern in accounting is that attempts made to improve students’ communication skills may fail or be less effective for some students because such attempts do not improve, or may even exacerbate students’ anxiety about communicating, which in turn leads to poorer performance. The results from this study show that students in their final year of study in which they are exposed to greater communication demands, do not on average have higher levels of communication apprehension than their peers in earlier studies. The levels of communication apprehension for final year students decline most markedly for those students starting with higher average levels of apprehension. The results fail to find any strong associations between levels of communication apprehension and students’ abilities to advance in their studies or average levels of academic performance. One finding that opens up the possibility for further research, however, is that students’ anxiety about communicating in interviews is not reduced.
Publisher: University of Otago
Series: Accountancy Working Paper Series
Keywords: communication apprehension; accounting education; New Zealand
Research Type: Working Paper