Professional closure by proxy: the impact of changing educational requirements on class mobility for a cohort of Big 8 partners
Baskerville, Rachel F.
Victoria University of Wellington (now at University of Exeter)
Closure events impacting on class mobility may include mechanisms initiated by bodies other than the professional body. The research examines if the introduction of full-time study requirements at universities for aspiring accountants effectively introduced a closure mechanism in the accounting profession. Data was derived from an Oral History study of partners in large firms. The younger partners (born after the Second World War) completed full-time degree study at university, but did not provide evidence of class mobility into the profession. The older cohort, born between 1928 and 1946, completed part-time studies only, few completed a degree, and, in contrast to the younger cohort, shows a perceptible upward movement from lower socio-economic classes into the professional class. This suggests that changing the preferred educational routes for new accountants entering the large chartered accounting (CA) firms compromised the "stepping stone" function of accounting as a portal into the professional class.
Accounting History, Vol. 11, No. 3, 289-317 (2006)