The purpose of this paper is to investigate the institutional factors affecting the reform of public sector in Morocco. In particular, this study focuses on the adoption path of one such reform, in which Moroccan municipalities had to adopt economic and development plans (EDPs).
The paper’s methodology adopts a qualitative approach. In particular, the paper adopts a mix of primary and secondary sources to analyze the historical development of the EDP reform in the Moroccan context, and the institutional factors involved in the implementation process. It contributes to the existing literature in two ways: it defines a tentative model that combines two approaches (new and old institutional theories); and it contextualizes the proposed model in the Moroccan context by examining the institutional process of implementing the reforms.
The reform that introduced EDPs in Morocco was the result of a collaboration between the Moroccan government and international donors. The introduction of EDPs was impeded by institutional features of Moroccan society. Therefore, the implementation of EDPs in Morocco did not change taken-for-granted ways of thinking, nor did it remove institutional restrictions and barriers. Municipalities were not affected by the modernizing effects of the reform. They are managed as traditional administrative structures, with very little capacity for organizational and management innovation.
The paper contributes to the debate on the adequacy of new public management (NPM) in less developed countries (LDCs), and in particular with regards to the use of strategic plans in Moroccan municipalities. In doing so, the paper attempts to define a tentative framework that combines new institutional and old institutional theory. The framework proposed helps to explain how NPM in LDCs was diffused and how institutional characteristics could hamper or foster the implementation of NPM reform.
The authors wish to thank the participants of the Accounting and Accountability in Emerging Economies Conference 2018 (Colchester, UK, Essex University), and in particular the discussant Dr Tobias Polzner for the insightful comments on the previous version of the paper. The authors also thank the two anonymous referees for their suggestions and the editor for encouraging the authors. The paper was the result of a joint effort made by the authors, however, the paper’s sections can be attributed as follows: “Management accounting change in LDCs: a theoretical framework”, “International institutional pressures to adopt reform in Morocco”, “EDP adoption and institutional characteristics in Morocco: some evidence” to Tallaki Mouhcine; and “Introduction”, “NPM in LDCs: literature review”, “Research strategy and setting”, “Discussion and final reflection” to Enrico Bracci.
Tallaki, M. and Bracci, E. (2019), "NPM reforms and institutional characteristics in developing countries: The case of Moroccan municipalities", Journal of Accounting in Emerging Economies, Vol. 9 No. 1, pp. 126-147. https://doi.org/10.1108/JAEE-01-2018-0010Download as .RIS
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