Stakeholder perceptions of the efficacy of a capstone course introduced to assist accounting students in developing pervasive skills

Master Thesis


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University of Cape Town

A capstone course, Business Analysis and Governance (BAG), compulsory for all students studying towards becoming chartered accountants, was introduced at the University of Cape Town (UCT) in 2012. It was designed to develop pervasive skills in response to the competency framework that was developed in 2008 by the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA), the professional accounting body. This study explored whether or not the capstone course has assisted in developing the pervasive skills of students. The effectiveness of specific interventions namely a Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) project, the inclusion of current business research area questions in assessments as well as company analysis was also investigated. Research was conducted in the critical theory tradition, in particular following the work done by the prominent psychologist, Kurt Lewin who is considered as one of the founders of social psychology. He is also often credited as being pivotal to the emergence of Action Research which was used in this research project. Action Research required an annual cycle of observation, action, reflection and planning over the initial four year period of the capstone course.