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Reforming resistant KIPOs to achieve justice: can the judiciary system hybridise?

Patrizio Monfardini (Department of Economics and Business Science, University of Cagliari, Cagliari, Italy)
Silvia Macchia (Department of Economics and Business Science, University of Cagliari, Cagliari, Italy)
Davide Eltrudis (Department of Economics and Business Science, University of Cagliari, Cagliari, Italy)

Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management

ISSN: 1096-3367

Article publication date: 23 February 2024

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Abstract

Purpose

Knowledge-intensive public organizations (KIPOs henceforth) rely heavily on knowledge as the primary resource to provide public services. This study deals with a specific kind of KIPO in the judiciary system: the courts. The paper aims to explore the court’s managerial and organisational change resulting from the national recovery and resilience plan (NRRP) reform in response to Covid-19, focussing on how this neglected KIPO responds to change, either by showing acts of resistance or undergoing a hybridisation process.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper adopts a qualitative research design, developing an explorative case study to investigate the process of a court’s managerial and organisational change caused by NRRP reform and to shed light on how this neglected KIPO reacts to change, showing resistance acts and developing the hybridisation process. Thirty-one interviews in six months have been conducted with the three main actors in Courts: judges, clerks and trial clerks.

Findings

The paper shows that in this understudied KIPO, judges fiercely resist the managerial logic that decades of reforms have been trying to impose. The recent introduction of an office for speeding up trials (Ufficio Per il Processo (UPP)) was initially opposed. Then, the resistance strategy changed, and judges started to benefit from UPP delegating repetitive and low-value tasks while retaining their core activities. Clerks approached the reform with a more positive attitude, seeing in UPP the mechanism to bridge the distance between them and the judges.

Originality/value

Considering their relevance to society, courts must be more addressed in KIPOs' studies. This paper allows the reader to enter such KIPO and understand its peculiar features. Secondly, the article helps to understand micropractices of resistance that may hinder the effectiveness of managerial reforms.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This paper has been funded by the Ministry for Justice through a PON Governance and Institutional Capacity (2014-2020) Program. Title of the Project: “Giustizia Smart: Strumenti e modelli per ottimizzare il lavoro dei giudici”.

Citation

Monfardini, P., Macchia, S. and Eltrudis, D. (2024), "Reforming resistant KIPOs to achieve justice: can the judiciary system hybridise?", Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/JPBAFM-07-2023-0132

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2024, Emerald Publishing Limited

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