Accounting students perceptions of using visual metaphor as part of personal development planning: An exploratory case study

Julia Osgerby, Prudence Marriott, Maria Gee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This UK based exploratory case study explores the perceptions of accounting students using visual metaphor to support personal development planning (PDP). The requirement within PDP for students to reflect on their skills and knowledge and to evaluate, visualise and communicate their development and achievement needs is demanding. Students find the use of visual tools offers them the time, flexibility and functionality to explore, imagine, structure, interrelate and communicate the products of their reflections as part of the PDP process. The use of imagery in accountancy is growing with professional accounting bodies taking an increasing interest in the use of visualisation. The application of visual metaphor provides undergraduate accounting students with a valuable early experience of using iconography for technical information presentation. The findings suggest that students perceive the technique of visual metaphor as a stimulating exploration of their personal goals that enhanced their engagement in the reflective PDP process.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)570-589
Number of pages20
JournalAccounting Education
Issue number6
Early online date20 Sep 2018
Publication statusPublished - 2 Nov 2018


  • Visual metaphor
  • Accounting education
  • Personal development planning
  • PDP

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