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The present work aimed to enhance the understanding of professional turnover intentions of accounting professionals by exploring their attitudes towards this phenomenon in an emerging economy (Tunisia).Design/methodology/approachAn exploratory research was conducted using a narrative approach (episodic interviewing) after having interviewed accounting professionals. Data were analysed with the thematic coding method using NVivo software based on the push-pull-mooring (PPM) framework. Based on this analysis, four types of professionals were identified.FindingsThe interconnections among PPM factors, which are different from one type of professionals to another, play a vital role in whether a professional intends to leave the accounting profession or not. All four types of professionals perceived unpleasant facets of the public practice environment (push factors) and manifested a tendency to switch to available job opportunities (pull factors). Nevertheless, the latitude for profession change, for the third and the fourth types who perceived the professional experience differently, is restricted by mooring factors. That is not the case for the first type of professionals who have already left public accounting and the second type who intend to quit the profession, as we did not find any mooring factors.Research limitations/implicationsThis study explored the attitudes of accounting professionals towards professional turnover intention. A deeper insight into the views of the academics and the Ordre des Experts Comptables de Tunisie (OECT) might help understand this phenomenon.Practical implicationsUnderstanding the relative impact of push, pull and mooring allows the accounting professionals to determine their attitudes towards the intention to leave the profession. This enables firms to develop more effective programmes to retain valued accounting human resources. The findings highlight that the professional associations should promote the values the profession brings to the community through nationwide public awareness campaigns and enhance career opportunities by providing more branches of activity within the profession.Originality/valueThe paper responds to calls for further examination of factors behind professional turnover intention at a time when high rates of turnover were observed among accounting professionals. Also, the cultural context of Tunisia helps explain our findings.
Journal of Accounting in Emerging Economies – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jan 11, 2022
Keywords: Chartered accountancy profession; Intention to leave; Push; Pull; Mooring; Tunisia
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