A salient stakeholder-driven model for integration of sustainability education into the accounting curriculum in Jordan
Al Hazaima , H. (2021). A salient stakeholder-driven model for integration of sustainability education into the accounting curriculum in Jordan (Thesis, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/14428
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/14428
This thesis examines the perceptions of salient stakeholders in Jordan towards the importance of integrating sustainability education into the accounting curriculum. Employing salient stakeholder theory as a lens the thesis seeks to explore the possible integration of sustainability education into the Jordanian tertiary accounting curriculum. This study attempts to answer four research questions: 1. How important is it to integrate sustainability education into the Jordanian accounting curriculum? 2. What do salient stakeholders expect to find in the Jordanian accounting curriculum with regard to sustainability education? 3. What are the challenges and benefits of integrating sustainability education into the accounting curriculum of Jordanian business schools? 4. How can an integrated sustainability accounting education model be developed in the Jordanian accounting curriculum? This study adopts a mixed method approach. It first uses a quantitative research method to investigate the perceptions of a wide group of salient stakeholders in Jordan. A total of 966 questionnaires were distributed to five different groups of salient stakeholders (educators, students, practitioners, the government, and the accounting profession). There were 702 final usable responses with a response rate of approximately 72.6%. The data collected was analysed using IBM SPSS Statistics v.22 software. The study then attempted to gain insight into and understanding of the issue under investigation. Thus, the study adopted a qualitative research method and used semistructured interviews to understand the perceptions of 46 participants who reflected the same groups of stakeholders surveyed in the quantitative part of this study. A thematic analysis approach was used to analyse these 46 interviews. Nvivo 12 was used for this purpose. The study finally triangulated the quantitative and qualitative findings to develop a salient stakeholder driven-model for sustainability accounting education in Jordan. This study provides evidence that the accounting curriculum in Jordan does not appear to meet the needs of its stakeholders. The study also shows that all stakeholders in Jordan believe that it is important to integrate sustainability education into the current accounting curriculum and that there is a need for this integration first, because sustainability accounting education in Jordan will lead to transparency and accountability in the future, and second, because its integration into the curriculum will lead to an increase in the awareness and understanding of global sustainability issues not only amongst students but also in Jordanian society. The usefulness of integrating sustainability in the Jordanian accounting curriculum lies in its ability to enhance future sustainability practices. The study also shows that sustainability education meets the aims of Jordanian higher education, which should support the integration process. In addition, the study shows that stakeholders in Jordan want to see sustainability education integrated into the accounting curriculum in two different ways. First, they advocate adding sustainability accounting topics to individual accounting paper sessions (e.g., lectures) within the existing accounting curriculum structure and second, developing a new compulsory stand-alone course on sustainability accounting for inclusion in the existing accounting curriculum. According to the participants, both methods of integration should be applied in parallel. The study shows moreover that stakeholders focused on integrating specific sustainability accounting topics into the existing accounting curriculum. These include disclosure of corporate sustainability information, sustainability implementations in cost and management accounting, and the role of sustainability accounting information in the decision-making process and in solving local and global sustainability issues. Additionally, this study shows that the government sector is the strongest advocate for integrating sustainability education into the accounting curriculum, whereas the student group is the least supportive of the issue. The study found that accounting educators are more supportive of this integration than participants from the industrial sector and the accounting profession are. The study uncovered some of the challenges that may face integrating sustainability education into the accounting curriculum in Jordan. These challenges relate to the Higher Education Accreditation Committee’s (HEAC) power, legitimacy, and urgency. All accounting curriculum contents are controlled by this committee, rendering stakeholders powerless to change it. The lack of qualified educators to teach sustainability issues and the lack of appropriate textbooks are another challenge. Finally, the accounting curriculum itself is overcrowded. The study’s qualitative findings provide insight into the challenges and benefits of integrating sustainability education into the curriculum in Jordan. It was found that this integration faces different challenges including educational, governmental, institutional, ideological, and social challenges. Nevertheless, the findings show that sustainability accounting education brings various benefits for Jordan, as it benefits the accounting curriculum and education, the accounting students, the business organisations, and the overall society and environment. The qualitative findings also show that there is an inappropriate distribution of power, legitimacy, and urgency amongst salient stakeholders which prevents the implementation of sustainability accounting education in Jordan. Furthermore, the findings indicate a lack of synergies among salient stakeholders. These findings are important because they provide a guideline for how to develop a model to integrate sustainability education into the accounting curriculum in Jordan, something which has not been done before in Jordan. This study is important because it investigated wide groups of stakeholders and compared the support amongst them for the issue under investigation. This study’s Jordanian stakeholders share many common beliefs and behaviours with others in the Middle Eastern countries overall. Consequently, their opinions and perceptions offer a very good example which other studies undertaken in the Middle East and North Africa can follow. This thesis should assist the government of Jordan and other education providers to integrate sustainability education into the existing accounting curriculum. This integration may help bring about changes that improve the teaching of sustainability education from a business and accounting perspective. Universities, including business schools, are the main providers of sustainability education, yet these educational institutions need cooperation from the government, the industrial sector and the accounting profession to manage the development of the ongoing education process. There is a lack of research concerning how salient stakeholders perceive sustainability education within business schools particularly in developing nations such as Jordan. This PhD study contributes to the discussion on integrating sustainability education into business schools’ curriculum to produce future managers who are more responsible towards their environment and society. The thesis also contributes to theory not only because it employs salient stakeholder theory to develop a theoretical framework for Jordan, but also because that theory helps to explain the findings of the study in light of the stakeholders’ possession of power, legitimacy, and urgency. All research have limitations; this study was focussed on a developing country in the Middle East and may not be generalisable to other developing countries which also have significant sustainability issues. Recommendations for future research include the investigation of sustainability accounting education in other developing countries to compare findings that enables a better and more comprehensive understanding to the overall sustainability education position in business schools in developing countries.
The University of Waikato
All items in Research Commons are provided for private study and research purposes and are protected by copyright with all rights reserved unless otherwise indicated.
- Higher Degree Theses