Resource allocation and empowerment practices

Manzurul Alam (Murdoch University, Murdoch, Australia)
Stewart Lawrence (University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand)

Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management

ISSN: 1176-6093

Publication date: 2 October 2009



The purpose of this paper is to explore the implications of empowerment practices within the disability support service (DSS) sector in New Zealand. The DSS framework is designed as part of the public sector reform process to promote empowerment for people with disabilities so that they can lead independent lives in their communities.


Taking a qualitative and interpretive approach to fieldwork, this research seeks the actual lived experiences of the disabled as recipients of services offer by the state.


The empirical evidence suggests that a concept such as empowerment can be problematic, because it can be perceived as a manipulative strategy where empowerment principles may be only notionally applied when services are offered by following managerialist principles.


This paper adds to the understanding on relationships between service design, resources, and empowerment practices. Implementation of empowerment principles, however, depends on resources to create a support structure at the community level and an atmosphere where there is choice and flexibility for people with disabilities to access essential services.



Alam, M. and Lawrence, S. (2009), "Resource allocation and empowerment practices", Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management, Vol. 6 No. 4, pp. 275-291.

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