Title: More soft skills needed for accountants: using Tolstoy's literature to inform ethical thought and develop critical skills

Authors: Scott Copeland; Susan P. Briggs

Addresses: School of Commerce, University of South Australia, City West Campus, GPO Box 2471, Adelaide 5000, Australia ' School of Commerce, University of South Australia, City West Campus, GPO Box 2471, Adelaide 5000, Australia

Abstract: In this article, we attempt to show how literature can inform ethical thought, critical thinking and can be used to enhance and develop soft skills in accountants. We specifically look at the writings of the classic Russian author Count Leo Tolstoy to illustrate this. We also pursue the idea that as accounting academics we should continually scrutinise our own writings and thought processes as much as possible when we develop courses and select teaching materials. In doing this, we need to consider the constraints placed upon us and the impact these have on our choices of what we include, why we do and what we do not. Reflection of this sort allows us to determine and identify our own biases as well as others.

Keywords: Tolstoy; accounting education; accounting profession; soft skills; accountant skills; literature; critical accounting; ethical thought; ethics; critical skills; critical thinking; reflection; bias.

DOI: 10.1504/IJCA.2014.068370

International Journal of Critical Accounting, 2014 Vol.6 No.5/6, pp.441 - 451

Published online: 15 Apr 2015 *

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