This paper is an attempt to theorise the recent changes to accounting practices in local government in the UK. The principal theory used is regulation theory, which incorporates aspects of hegemony theory and governance. Regulation theory attempts to explain major changes in national economic structures by examining underlying systems of capital accumulation, regulation and hegemony. Central to these structures and systems are the role and operation of the state and its institutions. Changes in economic structures will result in conditions, which favour different governance structures for these institutions; comprising markets, hierarchies, civil society, and heterarchic combinations. Several researchers in these areas have characterised “traditional” institutional practices as Fordist and are associated with a particular approach to regulation. However, the underlying economic structure is seen to be in crisis and a new Post‐Fordist regime may be emerging. Post‐Fordism is associated with new institutional practices, particularly decentralised management, contracting out of public services, extended use of public private partnerships and concerns for value for money, charters and league tables. The introduction of such practices may therefore be explained by the changes in underlying structures rather than as a teleological development of accounting. Moreover, some researchers have characterised such changes as representing a fundamental shift from government to governance. The very nature of the relationship between governance, accountability and accounting may therefore have also changed. These issues are explored in the paper.
Goddard, A. (2005), "Reform as regulation – accounting, governance and accountability in UK local government", Journal of Accounting & Organizational Change, Vol. 1 No. 1, pp. 27-44. https://doi.org/10.1108/18325910510635272Download as .RIS
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