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Guest editorialHappy endings and successful stories in public sector financial management: a lesson drawing perspective

Sandra Cohen (Department of Business Administration, Athens University of Economics and Business, Athens, Greece)
Francesca Manes-Rossi (Economic, Management and Institutions, University of Naples Federico II, Naples, Italy)
Isabel Brusca (Department of Accounting and Finance, University of Zaragoza, Zaragoza, Spain)
Eugenio Caperchione (Department of Economics “Marco Biagi”, Modena and Reggio Emilia University, Modena, Italy)

International Journal of Public Sector Management

ISSN: 0951-3558

Article publication date: 17 June 2021

Issue publication date: 18 June 2021




Public financial management has been characterized by the implementation of several innovations and reforms that embrace different areas and scope. These reforms aim at expenditure rationalization and efficiency enhancement, as well as the improvement of accountability and performance. Despite research having already paid attention to these innovations and reforms, the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats empirically faced by public sector organizations still need to be investigated. This editorial introduces the special issue by emphasizing on the lessons that can be learned from past reform experiences.


The editorial synthesizes some of the findings of the previous literature and evidences the necessity of both successful and unsuccessful stories, presenting a future agenda of research which emphasizes the use of case studies as a suitable method to get insights out of multiple experiences.


The four articles presented in this special issue, covering the topics of accrual accounting adoption, the use of financial statements by councilors, the use of performance information by politicians and the outsourcing of auditing in local governments, provide an overview of the efforts and challenges faced by public administrations by analyzing the influence of the institutional context, the relevance of political implications and their practical footprint.


In this special issue, four successful stories that touch upon multiple facets of public financial management in different country contexts are discussed, and they signal important takeaway messages for further reforms.



Cohen, S., Manes-Rossi, F., Brusca, I. and Caperchione, E. (2021), "Guest editorialHappy endings and successful stories in public sector financial management: a lesson drawing perspective", International Journal of Public Sector Management, Vol. 34 No. 4, pp. 393-406.



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