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Article
Publication date: 6 March 2017

Ella Desmedt, Danielle Morin, Valérie Pattyn and Marleen Brans

This study of the impact of Belgian Court of Audit on Federal Administration for the 2005 to 2010 period aims to highlight the auditors’ influence on the management of…

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Abstract

Purpose

This study of the impact of Belgian Court of Audit on Federal Administration for the 2005 to 2010 period aims to highlight the auditors’ influence on the management of governmental organizations through the performance audits they have been conducting since 1998. A set of ten variables allows us to measure the three types of uses of performance auditors’ work by auditees: instrumental, conceptual and strategic use.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey was sent out to a total of 148 respondents identified by the authorities of the targeted organizations; 47 usable questionnaires were completed (32 per cent response rate).

Findings

The Court of Audit’s impact on the audited entities did not provoke radical changes in the auditees’ organizational life, but the intervention of the auditors was nevertheless noticeable. The nature of the impact was rather conceptual than strategic or instrumental. And the negative consequences on auditees anticipated in the literature were not observed.

Research limitations/implications

Given the five-year period covered by the study which was made in 2014 (four years after 2010), it had to deal with the mortality of respondents and the loss of organizational memory.

Practical implications

The study gives more accurate insights about the influence that Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) actually exert on audited Administrations through their performance audits.

Originality/value

Because SAIs have been mandated to evaluate the government’s economy, efficiency and effectiveness for almost 40 years in the Western democracies, it is mandatory that their actual ability to influence Administrations be documented more abundantly and independently by academic researchers.

Details

Managerial Auditing Journal, vol. 32 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-6902

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 7 November 2016

Danielle Morin and Mouna Hazgui

Three decades ago, the National Audit Office (NAO) in the UK acquired the powers to evaluate the extent that the British Administration was managed with economy…

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Abstract

Purpose

Three decades ago, the National Audit Office (NAO) in the UK acquired the powers to evaluate the extent that the British Administration was managed with economy, efficiency and effectiveness. The NAO has since adopted a dual mission: to help Parliament hold government to account and to improve public service. This study aims to investigate value-for-money (VFM) auditors’ internalisation of a dual organisational identity: “obstructive” actions as representatives of a Supreme Audit Institution (SAI) and “enabling good practice”, induced by a will stated in the mission that the NAO authorities have adopted.

Design/methodology/approach

The organisational identity held and promoted by VFM auditors working at the NAO was explored in this research project. The authors specifically examined the understanding of those who claim to be serving both Parliament and organisations audited in their quest for performance improvement. The authors prompted the auditors to explain how they manage to reconcile these seemingly incompatible roles, namely, that of guardians and watchdogs who must publicly report gaps noted and that of assistants in government’s learning process. To this end, the authors conducted a field study at the NAO in September 2012 during which 21 auditors were interviewed individually and as part of two discussion groups.

Findings

The findings indicate that the auditors interviewed do not perceive a dichotomy in NAO’s double mission, which they believe to be congruent with their audience’s expectations. They draw meaning and usefulness from their role of monitoring the Administration if they believe they have contributed to improve public affairs management. In their view, the singular role of guardian no longer suffices. The authors conclude that VFM auditors’ recently acquired identity of “moderniser” reflects a self-efficacy expectation that prevents them from recognising the apparent paradox within their dual identity and that lets them fantasise about their real influence on the Administration.

Research limitations/implications

Admittedly, the limited number of auditors interviewed and who took part in discussion groups is not conducive to generalisation of the conclusions to all auditors in the NAO or to other SAIs. However, although modest in number, the auditor respondents have accumulated many years of VFM audit practice and have contributed to the production of many reports. The respondents could therefore rightfully speak of their work as VFM auditors and as representatives of an institution such as the NAO.

Practical implications

This study contributes to the debates about the place and role of SAIs in the control environment of Administrations. By soliciting testimonials from the actors working within the NAO, the authors could thus question certain a priori assumptions held by stakeholders in the political and administrative world for whom auditors are mere “watchdogs” of Administrations, and nothing more.

Originality/value

The dual mission that the NAO has adopted (similar to many other SAIs) has been formally and publicly stated. It was therefore worth investigating how experienced auditors such as those interviewed had internalised this mission. The authors argue that this dual mission, perhaps inspired by the managerialist culture that has shaped changes to the British Administration (and many other occidental Administrations) since the early 1980s and that is seemingly encouraged by Government, twists the legislator’s intentions, which are to consider SAIs’ auditors as guardians and watchdogs of Administrations, not as agents of change and improvement.

Details

Journal of Accounting & Organizational Change, vol. 12 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1832-5912

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 5 May 2014

Danielle Morin

The influence that Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) exert on management of administrations through performance audits has been examined very little and questioned even…

1185

Abstract

Purpose

The influence that Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) exert on management of administrations through performance audits has been examined very little and questioned even less. This study of the impact of Auditors General (AG) on management of six Canadian administrations for the 2001-2011 period aims to highlight the auditors ' successes and the limits imposed on them in their role of agents of change for administrations.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey was sent out to a total of 125 respondents identified by the authorities of the targeted organizations. Eighty-seven usable questionnaires were completed (70% response rate).

Findings

AG appear to influence the organizational life of Canadian entities to a moderate extent. The figures suggest that auditors do exert an influence on the organizations audited, but their influence attempts fail fairly often. Indirect powers to reward and punish conferred on AG by their institutional status are conditioned not only by the will of the central and political authorities of the entities audited but also by the will and capacity of parliamentarians to assume real control over the executive branch. One explanation for this mitigated influence is that the “obligatory reverence” that SAIs inspire in administrations masks the real value that auditees perceive in auditors ' work.

Research limitations/implications

Given the ten-year period that the study covered, it had to deal with the mortality of respondents and the loss of organizational memory.

Practical implications

The study gives insights about the auditees ' recognition regarding the auditors ' added value to administrations through their performance audits.

Originality/value

This paper fulfils an identified need for further empirical research on AG ' s impact on administrations through their performance audits.

Details

Managerial Auditing Journal, vol. 29 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-6902

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 25 July 2008

Danielle Morin

As practised by Auditors General in governmental organizations, the value for money (VFM) audit is ultimately destined to improve the management of public affairs. This…

2261

Abstract

Purpose

As practised by Auditors General in governmental organizations, the value for money (VFM) audit is ultimately destined to improve the management of public affairs. This study aims to examine to what extent Auditor General of Quebec has been achieving this objective through the VFM audits conducted in the Canadian province of Quebec from 1995 to 2002. For the purposes of this research, a model was designed that measured the impact these VFM audits may have had on the management of the organizations audited and that exposed the determinants of this impact.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey was sent out exclusively to auditees who are the representatives of the organizations audited: top and middle managers and department professionals (specialists in their area: health, education, etc.) having interacted with the auditors during VFM audits. A five‐category Likert‐type scale was selected for the survey. A total of 188 questionnaires were sent out and, of the questionnaires filled out by auditees, a total of 99 were considered valid, that is 53 percent response rate. Quantitative analysis was performed using SPSS software. For each of the elements measuring the impact of VFM audits on the management of organizations audited, principal components factor analysis (with VARIMAX rotation when there was more than one factor) was performed. These analyses sought to understand the correlation structure of the variables for each of the elements.

Findings

The changes made after the auditors' visits have not been radical and there have been no revolutions in the organizations audited, but the influence of auditors is perceptible for all ten of the elements measured. The will of those at the base of the organization and the intervention of parliamentarians turn out to have a decisive influence on the impact that auditors will or will not have on the management of organizations audited.

Research limitations/implications

The point of view reported is exclusively that of auditees. There can be no claim for total objectivity on their part. Moreover, it was practically impossible to corroborate their statements with other sources. Some respondents might have tended to minimize the influence that auditors might have had on them. Others could have shaped facts to their advantage.

Originality/value

Measurement of the impact of VFM audits on the management of government organizations, from auditees' point of view, has not been much examined by scholars. This research constitutes a major contribution to advance knowledge about the impact of VFM audits in a Canadian context.

Details

Managerial Auditing Journal, vol. 23 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-6902

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 2 August 2011

Danielle Morin

This paper seeks to investigate the work performed by French Cour des comptes magistrates as part of performance audits. The research objective is to understand who the…

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to investigate the work performed by French Cour des comptes magistrates as part of performance audits. The research objective is to understand who the magistrates are, what they do, how they do what they do, how they perceive their role, what authority they feel they can claim, and how, through performance audits, they try to influence the way the organisations they visit are run.

Design/methodology/approach

In addition to 35 interviews conducted with Court magistrates (based on a semi-structured interview questionnaire) and non-participant observation, public documentation was analysed. To understand how magistrates perform their tasks at the Court, basic theories on influence processes and theories on decision making developed by Herbert A. Simon were applied.

Findings

After exploring the universe in which magistrates of the French Cour des comptes operate, it appears that their undertaking of performance audits has engendered a host of competing visions: the transition to modernity has to occur. The Court presents itself officially as a supreme audit institution but it acts as a grand corps de l ' État (senior branch of the Civil Service). Magistrates come to the Court of their own accord and make every effort to avoid being viewed as control professionals. The Court openly positions itself as a “judge of management”, wishing to impose its jurisdictional authority on activities that are essentially professional in character. A migration from traditional roles is observed: the role of the Court as a critic of the Administration has been sidelined. In addition, the magistrates claim to be judges when they are in the ambit of the Court, but shed this role for that of “catalysts of change” when they interact with representatives of the organisations audited.

Research limitations/implications

The research is based on a detailed analysis of a specific context. This may limit the wider applicability of the findings. However, the data gathered from the French experience could be useful for other supreme audit institutions (SAIs) whose status is equivalent to that of the Court, or whose mandate has expanded in the past decade.

Originality/value

This study lifts the veil on the performance audit practice at one of the numerous supreme audit institutions. In addition, the French context has received scant attention from researchers.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 24 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 February 2003

Danielle Morin

Public finance watchdogs and guardians of the public purse. These are just two of the labels branded on Auditors General over the years. Since their initiation into value…

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Abstract

Public finance watchdogs and guardians of the public purse. These are just two of the labels branded on Auditors General over the years. Since their initiation into value for money audit only three decades ago, they have continually been exposing cases of public financing laxity. Each time the auditors approach a government organization, their reputation invariably precedes them. But what happens when the controllers decide to turn over a new leaf and become catalysts for change and improvement who have come to help managers improve their public organizations? Auditees, totally unaccustomed to seeking help from auditors, are understandably befuddled. On the other side of the coin, auditors are equally inexperienced at providing assistance to auditees. There is many a slip twixt cup and lip before the role confusion dissipates.

Details

Managerial Auditing Journal, vol. 18 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-6902

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 January 2013

Lee D. Parker and James Guthrie

This editorial aims to consider contemporary issues for accounting scholars, in particular journals rating and benchmarking, arguing that current international trends are…

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Abstract

Purpose

This editorial aims to consider contemporary issues for accounting scholars, in particular journals rating and benchmarking, arguing that current international trends are risking academic research quality.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper takes the form of an editorial review and argument.

Findings

The paper acknowledges that accounting academic research is important to the higher education system, careers and publishers. However, its quality and the construction and measurement of the quality of accounting journals and research impact on society continue to be hotly debated.

Research limitations/implications

The editorial offers scope for accounting academics to engage in debate about the impact of journal rankings and benchmarking on their teaching and research, important issues in higher education, not only in Australia, but also internationally.

Originality/value

The paper provides commentary on the “quality” of accounting research and measurement practices associated with rating and benchmarking academic journals.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 26 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 20 November 2017

Courtney L. McCluney, Courtney M. Bryant, Danielle D. King and Abdifatah A. Ali

Racially traumatic events – such as police violence and brutality toward Blacks – affect individuals in and outside of work. Black employees may “call in Black” to avoid…

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Abstract

Purpose

Racially traumatic events – such as police violence and brutality toward Blacks – affect individuals in and outside of work. Black employees may “call in Black” to avoid interacting with coworkers in organizations that lack resources and perceived identity and psychological safety. The paper aims to discuss this issue.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper integrates event system theory (EST), resourcing, and psychological safety frameworks to understand how external, racially traumatic events impact Black employees and organizations. As racially traumatic events are linked to experienced racial identity threat, the authors discuss the importance of both the availability and creation of resources to help employees to maintain effective workplace functioning, despite such difficult circumstances.

Findings

Organizational and social-identity resourcing may cultivate social, material, and cognitive resources for black employees to cope with threats to their racial identity after racially traumatic events occur. The integration of organizational and social-identity resourcing may foster identity and psychologically safe workplaces where black employees may feel valued and reduce feelings of racial identity threats.

Research limitations/implications

Implications for both employees’ social-identity resourcing practice and organizational resource readiness and response options are discussed.

Originality/value

The authors present a novel perspective for managing diversity and inclusion through EST. Further, the authors identify the interaction of individual agency and organizational resources to support Black employees.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 36 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 16 March 2015

Frédéric Gilbert, Jean-Louis Denis, Lise Lamothe, Marie-Dominique Beaulieu, Danielle D'amour and Johanne Goudreau

Governments everywhere are implementing reform to improve primary care. However, the existence of a high degree of professional autonomy makes large-scale change difficult…

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Abstract

Purpose

Governments everywhere are implementing reform to improve primary care. However, the existence of a high degree of professional autonomy makes large-scale change difficult to achieve. The purpose of this paper is to elucidate the change dynamics and the involvement of professionals in a primary healthcare reform initiative carried out in the Canadian province of Quebec.

Design/methodology/approach

An empirical approach was used to investigate change processes from the inception of a public policy to the execution of changes in professional practices. The data were analysed from a multi-level, combined contextualist-processual perspective. Results are based on a longitudinal multiple-case study of five family medicine groups, which was informed by over 100 interviews, questionnaires, and documentary analysis.

Findings

The results illustrate the multiple processes observed with the introduction of planned large-scale change in primary care services. The analysis of change content revealed that similar post-change states concealed variations between groups in the scale of their respective changes. The analysis also demonstrated more precisely how change evolved through the introduction of “intermediate change” and how cycles of prescribed and emergent mechanisms distinctively drove change process and change content, from the emergence of the public policy to the change in primary care service delivery.

Research limitations/implications

This research was conducted among a limited number of early policy adopters. However, given the international interest in turning to the medical profession to improve primary care, the results offer avenues for both policy development and implementation.

Practical implications

The findings offer practical insights for those studying and managing large-scale transformations. They provide a better understanding of how deliberate reforms coexist with professional autonomy through an intertwining of change content and processes.

Originality/value

This research is one of few studies to examine a primary care reform from emergence to implementation using a longitudinal multi-level design.

Details

Journal of Health Organization and Management, vol. 29 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7266

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 28 October 2022

Hannah Cochran and Robert E. Worden

The objectives of this research were to examine how officer perspectives on body-worn cameras (BWCs) are patterned by broader occupational attitudes, and to analyze…

Abstract

Purpose

The objectives of this research were to examine how officer perspectives on body-worn cameras (BWCs) are patterned by broader occupational attitudes, and to analyze stability and change in officers' attitudes toward BWCs before and after the deployment of the technology.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors analyze panel survey data on individual officers in the Albany (New York) Police Department (APD).

Findings

Pre-BWC deployment, officers varied in their occupational attitudes and BWC perspectives, and the officers' BWC outlooks bore relationships to several occupational attitudes. BWC outlooks were largely stable following deployment. Individual changes in BWC perspectives were related to officers' assignments and unrelated to officers' occupational attitudes.

Originality/value

The authors use panel survey data to test hypotheses about the effect of broad occupational attitudes on officers' receptivity to BWCs and to analyze change pre-/post-BWC deployment.

Details

Policing: An International Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

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