Entrepreneurial intentions of business students: a matter of masculinity and femininity

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the entrepreneurial intention of business students, with an emphasis on their masculine and feminine characteristics, instead of the usual classification male / female. While recent studies have increased the understanding of the implications of being a man or woman (sex differences) on entrepreneurial intention, papers which examine whether masculinity and/or femininity (gender differences) impact entrepreneurial intention are rare. The Theory of Planned Behavior is used as underlying framework, with entrepreneurial intention as dependent variable and its three antecedents (‘attitude towards behavior’, ‘subjective norms’, and ‘perceived behavior control’). Masculinity and femininity are measured by the Bem Sex Role Inventory Model. The results are analyzed by structural equation modeling. Students with high masculinity have significant higher entrepreneurial intentions than students with low masculinity. There is a significant association between masculinity and entrepreneurial intentions through the mediating role of attitude towards behavior and subjective norms. Furthermore femininity has a positive impact on entrepreneurial intentions with subjective norms as mediator. This study contributes to the debate which personality traits influence entrepreneurial intention and further deepens the discussion how educators could approach different types of students in order to stimulate their interest in entrepreneurship. Previously conflicting results about the impact of sex on entrepreneurial intention can perhaps be solved if studies are in the future enriched with socially constructed gender variables.

Davy Vercruysse, Stephanie Birkner, Entrepreneurial Intentions of Business Students: A Matter of Masculinity and Femininity, European Business & Management. Vol. 7, No. 3, 2021, pp. 72-84. doi: 10.11648/j.ebm.20210703.13

Business planning for starters: Accountants do make a difference

This study investigates the value of business planning for starters, based on survey research of 283 Flemish starters.  First, the quality of the business plan was perceived higher by starters, who consulted an accountant during the planning stage.  The results show that the business advice of the accountant supports entrepreneurs in the preparation stage and in anticipating “the unexpected”. Second, the starters differed in terms of their view on the value of the business plan, finding support for the 4 types of motivation from the self-determination theory (SDT).  For instance, some entrepreneurs made a business plan because it is legally required (external motivation), whereas others developed the business plan because they knew it is important to reflect upfront (introjected motivation). The results show that entrepreneurs, scoring high on introjected and identified motivation developed a high-quality business plan, which also increased their effectiveness in taking management decisions in the early years after the official launch of the company.

De Bruyckere Stefanie & Everaert Patricia, 2021, The Role of the External Accountant in Business Planning for Starters: Perspective of the Self-Determination Theory? Sustainability, 13, 3014. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13063014

How to stimulate Online formative assessment (OFA) of students in accounting?

This study investigates the effect of two mandatory take-home tests on the voluntary use of additional learning material (OFA), offered as online exercises with automatic correction and immediate feedback. A quasi-experiment control-group design was set up. The results show that more students start to use the OFA when take-home tests are introduced. In addition, students make more intensive use of OFA and students also start earlier in the semester with the use of OFA. Providing structure within a course is of tremendous importance, which is ratified with these results.

Blondeel Eva, Everaert Patricia, Opdecam Evelien, 2021, Stimulating Higher Education Accounting Students in Using Online Formative Assessments: The Case of Two Mid-Term Take-Home Tests, Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education.


COVID-19 and Accounting Education: the Belgian Case

This paper presents a compilation of personal reflections from 66 contributors on the impact of, and responses to, COVID-19 in accounting education in 45 different countries around the world. It reveals a commonality of issues and a variability in responses, many positive outcomes, but many more that are negative, primarily relating to the impact on faculty and student health and wellbeing, and the accompanying stress.

Opdecam Evelien & Everaert Patricia, 2020, “Insights into Accounting Education in an COVID-19 World: Belgium.”, Accounting Education, edited by Alan Sangster et al., vol. 29, no. 5, 2020, pp.  455–57, doi:10.1080/09639284.2020.1808487


Chapter in Routledge Handbook of Environmental Accounting

This handbook (edited by Jan Bebbington, Carlos Larrinaga, Brendan O’Dwyer and Ian Thomson) showcases the broad spectrum of diverse approaches to environmental accounting which have developed during the last 30 years across the globe.
In chapter 14 of the handbook, Lies Bouten and Sophie Hoozée provide an overview of prior research on eco- control practices and to offer critical reflections and avenues for future work.


Full reference: Bouten, L., Hoozée, S., 2021. Designing eco-controls for multi-objective organizations. In Bebbington, J., Larrinaga, C., O’Dwyer, B. & Thomson, I. (Eds.), Routledge Handbook of Environmental Accounting, Routledge, Abingdon, UK, pp. 194-206.

New publication on time estimation errors in costing systems

Time estimates are an important part of many costing systems. As they may be subject to estimation error and hence result in measurement error in product and service costs, it is important to understand the sources of this estimation error as well as mechanisms to mitigate them. We performed a computer-based lab experiment to test the joint impact of task interruption and interactive time estimation on the accuracy of time estimates. As predicted, we find that the negative impact of task interruption on time estimation accuracy is mitigated when participants are allowed to interactively discuss their time estimates before making a final time estimate alone. We explain our findings through the underlying effects of cognitive load and confidence. Hence, managers may improve the accuracy of their time-based costing systems by enabling an interactive time estimation process to offset the detrimental effect of task interruption.

Read our full article.

Maussen, S., & Hoozée, S. (2020). On the influence of task interruption and interactive time estimation on estimation error in time-based costing systems. European Accounting Review.

This article is also included in the second chapter of Sophie Maussen’s doctoral dissertation.

New teaching case!

Building upon the experiences of Werner Bruggeman and Geert Scheipers as practicing consultants, the authors, together, developed an educational case on responsibility center structures and transfer pricing. Sophie Hoozée and Sophie Maussen implemented the case in the course Management Control (as part of the Master of Science in Business Economics-Accounting). Using a need-supportive teaching style, the instructors maximized students’ autonomous learning motivation and brought students’ intrinsic motivation to the fore which resulted in highly creative case presentations (as demonstrated on the picture). The case teaches students that an organization’s responsibility center structure and its transfer pricing system need to be aligned with the competitive strategy in order to maintain organizational alignment and minimize dysfunctional behavior. As such, the case also illustrates that transfer pricing is not just about tax optimization, but also has important motivational consequences.

This educational case is published in the Journal of Accounting Education’s Special Issue devoted to the BAFA AE SIG Conference, where the case was presented in 2019 in Ghent.

Hoozée, S., Maussen, S., Bruggeman, W., & Scheipers, G. (2020). Fitting responsibility center structures to strategy: Bakery Products International. Journal of Accounting Education, 53 (in press).

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaccedu.2020.100692

The Importance of Mutual Understanding Between External Accountants and Owner–Managers of SMEs

This study investigates the perspective of the owner–manager of a small or medium-sized enterprise (SME) on the importance of mutual understanding with an external accountant. Mutual understanding means that the owner–manager understands what the accountant is saying and feels understood by the accountant. The results, based on 310 completed surveys of Belgian owner–managers, show that owner–managers who have a high level of mutual understanding use the advice of their external accountant more extensively. This is in turn positively linked to the financial health of an SME. Furthermore, several drivers that enable the establishment of a high level of mutual understanding are explored.

Debruyckere S., Verplancke F., Everaert P., Sarens G., Coppens C., 2020,  The Importance of Mutual Understanding Between External Accountants and Owner–Managers of SMEs, Australian Accounting Review,  No. 92 Vol. 30 Issue 1, p. 4-21


Choice-based learning: lecture-based or team learning?

This study investigates the choice of students between lecture-based and team learning. Students were allocated to their preferred learning approach and subsequently followed their preferred method of pedagogy. The results show that team learning has as positive effect on academic learning outcomes without providing formal group rewards. In addition, both student groups are satisfied with their selected learning paths. Also, choice-based learning provides job satisfaction for the instructors of both learning paths. These results re-energize the ongoing discussion on why and how to engage students in learning activities. Implications for student learning, faculty members, and institutional policies are discussed.

Opdecam, E. & Everaert, P. (2019). Choice-based learning: lecture-based or team learning? Accounting Education, 28(3), 239-273.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/09639284.2019.1570857