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Contingency factors and budget actors' behaviour during COVID-19: the case of Uganda

Stephen Korutaro Nkundabanyanga (Department of Accounting, Makerere University Business School, Kampala, Uganda)
Kelum Jayasinghe (Faculty of Social Sciences, Essex Business School, University of Essex, Colchester, UK)
Ernest Abaho (Department of Entrepreneurship, Makerere University Business School, Kampala, Uganda)
Kenneth Mugambe (Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, Kampala, Uganda)

Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management

ISSN: 1096-3367

Article publication date: 24 March 2022




The purpose of this study is to examine the viewpoints and experiences of multiple budget actors to understand their particular budget related behaviours contingent upon the COVID-19 (C19) pandemic of a developing country.


This study uses Uganda as a case study and employs semi-structured interview method for the data collection. In trying to generate themes and patterns, data are analysed through three levels of coding: open, axial and selective coding. The contingency theory is used to interpret the data.


The task of budgeting formulation, implementation and control in times of C19 lead to varied actual behaviours of budget actors because of the environmental uncertainty, inappropriate structural and technological conditions and manipulative organisational cultures contingent upon the Ugandan C19 budget context.

Research limitations/implications

The insights generated from the study can be useful for the national governments of emerging economies, e.g. African countries, to understand the conditions that influence the budget actors' behaviour and together, develop long-term financial resilience strategies to face future emergencies.


This study contributes to accounting and public budgeting theory by showing that contingency theory is a relevant framework for understanding budget actors' behaviour in emergency situations. The study potentially strengthens the contingency theory framework through its incorporation of organisational culture perspective into the “people” element.



Nkundabanyanga, S.K., Jayasinghe, K., Abaho, E. and Mugambe, K. (2022), "Contingency factors and budget actors' behaviour during COVID-19: the case of Uganda", Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.



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