Guest Editorial: Accounting for public governance

Giuseppe Grossi (Kristianstad University, Kristianstad, Sweden)
Ileana Steccolini (Bocconi University, Milan, Italy)

Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management

ISSN: 1176-6093

Publication date: 10 June 2014



The purpose of this viewpoint paper is to introduce the special issue and outline its major themes.


The public governance literature is described, and the necessity for analysing challenges for accountability and accounting in the public sector is elaborated upon, as a precursor to introducing the contributions to this special issue.


The public governance turn in public management and policy studies has often meant that accounting and accountability issues have been overlooked. This special issue reminds us that they are central in public governance and networks, and that accounting cannot be dismissed as only a “technical” issue since it is central in power relationships, building trust, ensuring transparency and improving decision making for both internal and external stakeholders.

Research limitations/implications

This special issue of Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management aims to stimulate qualitative research on how accounting and accountability are being shaped by the new public governance paradigm and, in turn, contribute to shaping it.

Practical implications

The articles included in this special issue focus on reforms and innovations that have been adopted based on the assumption that improving mechanisms of public governance and accountability will result in better public sector performance. The different aspects of governance and accounting changes will also be of interest to politicians, managers, citizens, and those who seek accountability from public sector organisations.


The paper offers a systematic empirical examination of the innovative experiences of different governments to strengthen transparency, openness and participation, and to enhance the capacity to manage, steer and monitor contracts, partnerships and relationships with private and public sector entities.



Grossi, G. and Steccolini, I. (2014), "Guest Editorial: Accounting for public governance", Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management, Vol. 11 No. 2, pp. 86-91.

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