Accountability is ubiquitous in social systems, and its necessity is magnified in formal organizations, whose purpose has been argued to predict and control behavior. The very notion of organizing necessitates answering to others, and this feature implies an interface of work and social enterprises, the individuals comprising them, and subunits from dyads to divisions. Because the nature of workplace accountability is multi-level as well as interactive, single-level conceptualizations of the phenomenon are incomplete and inherently misleading. In response, this chapter sets forth a meso-level conceptualization of accountability, which develops a more comprehensive understanding of this pervasive and imperative phenomenon. The meso model presented integrates contemporary theory and research, and extends our perspectives beyond individual, group, unit, or organizational perspectives toward a unitary whole. Following this is a description of challenges and opportunities facing scholars conducting accountability research (e.g., data collection and analysis and non-traditional conceptualizations of workplace phenomenon). Theoretical and practical implications are discussed, as are directions for future research.
Frink, D.D., Hall, A.T., Perryman, A.A., Ranft, A.L., Hochwarter, W.A., Ferris, G.R. and Todd Royle, M. (2008), "Meso-level theory of accountability in organizations", Martocchio, J.J. (Ed.) Research in Personnel and Human Resources Management (Research in Personnel and Human Resources Management, Vol. 27), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 177-245. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0742-7301(08)27005-2
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