The use of performance information in local government mergers

Karina Kenk (School of Economics and Business Administration, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia)
Toomas Haldma (School of Economics and Business Administration, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia) (Nord University, Bodo, Norway)

Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management

ISSN: 1096-3367

Publication date: 2 September 2019

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to study more deeply the use of performance information (PI) in the context of the administrative-territorial reform, e.g. amalgamation in the local governments (LG) with an example of Estonian LGs.

Design/methodology/approach

The case study method is adopted, using data from publicly available documents and interviews with the politicians and officials at the five merger cases of Estonian LG units. The data are interpreted and analysed using attribution theory.

Findings

The results show that amalgamation patterns do have an influence on PI use – in particular, the authors see that PI is reported to be used more frequently in cases of voluntary mergers, which may be related to the different motivations to make attributions in cases of voluntary and compulsory mergers.

Originality/value

The study contributes to the debate on the importance and usefulness of different types of PI, as financial as well as non-financial information and for different information users in the light of LG reform in Estonia as being a Central and Eastern European country.

Keywords

Citation

Kenk, K. and Haldma, T. (2019), "The use of performance information in local government mergers", Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management, Vol. 31 No. 3, pp. 451-471. https://doi.org/10.1108/JPBAFM-03-2019-0056

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Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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