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Governmental accounting practitioners: cardigan removed, research agenda revealed

Mark Christensen (Accounting and Management Control Department, ESSEC Business School, Singapore)
Dorothea Greiling (Institute für Management Accounting, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Linz, Austria)
Johan Christiaens (Department of Accounting, Corporate Finance and Taxation, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium)

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal

ISSN: 0951-3574

Article publication date: 21 May 2018




The purpose of this paper is to encourage research implicating public sector accounting practitioners. It overviews articles in the AAAJ Forum arising from the Comparative International Governmental Accounting Research (CIGAR) Network conference in 2015 in which practitioners’ doings were themes across numerous papers. The paper’s central objective is to scope out an agenda for future research in the area.


Using the CIGAR presentations and papers reviewed for this AAAJ Forum, a desk-based study informed by these sources and others has been conducted.


Aspects of public sector accounting practitioners’ doings hold promise in themselves whilst also being likely to complement and enrich other themes of public sector accounting research. Those aspects give rise to analytical frames, which may overlap and/or reinforce other aspects. Those analytical frames are: first, examining networking between practitioners; second, identifying implications of the professionalisation project for public sector accounting practitioners; third, analysing public sector accounting practitioners’ responses to the rise of external experts; and, fourth, exploring how public sector accounting practitioners interact with forces that shape the accounting craft. The four articles published here variously address several parts of these themes.


In scoping out a future research agenda, this paper justifies greater attention being paid to the four themes noted in its findings. In each of these research fields, an interdisciplinary approach is important.



This paper forms part of a special section “Doings of practitioners: public sector accountants in the 21st Century”.

The authors thank all authors of submissions to this AAAJ Forum as well as the scholars who have reviewed all the submissions. In addition, the authors thank Professor Guthrie for his encouragement and support which has been invaluable. The authors also thank the anonymous reviewers of the paper for their comments and new insights. Mark Christensen also acknowledges with gratitude the partial funding of the author’s involvement in this project by the FEDER and FCT Project PTDC/IIM-GES/6923/2014.

This paper forms part of a special section “Doings of practitioners: public sector accountants in the 21st Century”.


Christensen, M., Greiling, D. and Christiaens, J. (2018), "Governmental accounting practitioners: cardigan removed, research agenda revealed", Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Vol. 31 No. 4, pp. 1026-1044.



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Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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