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Large Canadian accounting firms devote considerable effort to appeal to Millennials’ values and expectations in their messaging to potential recruits, a Telfer School professor concludes in a new study.

The authors, Sylvain Durocher of the Telfer School and Merridee Bujaki and François Brouard of the Sprott School of Business, Carleton University analysed the web communications big accounting firms direct at Millennials. The group’s expectations in terms of work experiences and work environment were closely mirrored in firms’ messages. The appeal to Millennials also seeks to counter critical perceptions such as those related to the negative accountant’s stereotype, work-life balance issues, and perceived lack of diversity in accounting firms’ work environment.

This study adds to the accounting literature that uses legitimacy theory to make sense of accounting phenomena. It makes a unique contribution by suggesting that the socialization of new accounting recruits might well be a two-way process in which millennials contribute to both the production and reproduction of accountants’ identities.

Durocher is to present the paper at the London School of Economics on January 28.

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