Purpose – An important aim of this paper is to ascertain the extent to which students held realistic expectations about the work cultures they were soon to enter. The paper also aims to investigate the link between value congruence (in relation to both work and work‐family values) and “expected” job satisfaction and organisational commitment, in the case of the students, and “actual” job satisfaction and organisational commitment, in the case of the professionals. Design/methodology/approach – A questionnaire was used to survey a sample of final year BCom students from the University of Adelaide ( n =52) and accounting professionals from the same city ( n =50). Findings – Significant person‐culture fit discrepancies, in relation to both work and work‐family values, were observed for both groups. For accountants, these were negatively associated with job satisfaction and organisational commitment. Students also expected to enter organisational cultures that supported work values that were significantly more supportive of these values than were the actual organisational cultures described by the accountants. For work‐family values, students' expectations, surprisingly, fell significantly short of what the accountants' actual experience suggested they would be likely to encounter. Originality/value – A life stage interpretation of the findings for work‐family values is offered and consideration is given to their implications for a broadening of traditional conceptualisations of reality shock.
Pacific Accounting Review – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jul 18, 2008
Keywords: Family; Job satisfaction; Accountancy; Family friendly organizations; Social values; Australia
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