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Article
Publication date: 15 July 2021

Enrico Bracci, Iris Saliterer, Mariafrancesca Sicilia and Ileana Steccolini

This paper aims to highlight the importance of (public) value(s) and publicness in accounting and accountability research. It pinpoints a range of issues that scholars need to…

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to highlight the importance of (public) value(s) and publicness in accounting and accountability research. It pinpoints a range of issues that scholars need to contemplate when reconsidering publicness in accounting research and practice.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper adopts an interdisciplinary literature review associated with a conceptual discussion of the actual and future challenges of public service accounting and accountability in considering public value(s).

Findings

The paper illustrates the centrality of (public) value(s) at the individual, organizational and societal levels in shaping and being shaped by calculative practices, and shows that looking at the interconnections between values and accounting is a fruitful research avenue. Moreover, it highlights the power of embracing interdisciplinary approaches to illuminate these interconnections and relate them to complex and current phenomena.

Originality/value

The paper’s originality lies in the reconsideration of (public) value(s) for public service accounting scholars, providing a critical reflection and setting new research avenues.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 34 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 30 May 2017

Sanja Korac, Iris Saliterer and Eric Scorsone

The United States (U.S.) has been described as the root of the global financial crisis. The events of the financial, sovereign debt, and Euro crisis and the accompanying economic…

Abstract

The United States (U.S.) has been described as the root of the global financial crisis. The events of the financial, sovereign debt, and Euro crisis and the accompanying economic turmoil that have spread throughout most of the Western world have been traced back to the excessive consumer borrowing, sub-prime mortgage lending and ultimately the housing bubble in the United States. Its burst in 2008 created a shock that overshadowed prior recession and fiscal stress of governmental entities in the United States. Deriving over 90% of their own tax revenues from property taxes, local governments in Michigan have been hit even more excessively. However, the cases analysed in this chapter not only tell a unique story of deep shock and legacy costs, but also of creative ways of surviving the crisis, exerting different patterns of financial resilience. In general, state regulations restricted buffering the impact, and some cities additionally suffered from their geographical vicinity to and economic dependency on Detroit, a city that stands for the turbulence of the U.S. automobile industry. After first deploying buffering capacities that still existed, two cases saw the crisis as an opportunity to address their vulnerabilities (reactive adapters), an opportunity that was not recognised in the case of a constrained adapter. In contrast, one case showed strong anticipatory and coping capacities that have been built up in the past, equipping the local government to operate in a lean and efficient way, and to proactively adapt to arising shocks.

Details

Governmental Financial Resilience
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-262-6

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 30 May 2017

Iris Saliterer, Martin Jones and Ileana Steccolini

Governments are no strangers to dealing with crises. On the contrary, a central role of any government is to absorb, navigate and mitigate them. However, crises themselves are…

Abstract

Governments are no strangers to dealing with crises. On the contrary, a central role of any government is to absorb, navigate and mitigate them. However, crises themselves are unpredictable and represent a significant challenge to governments at both the national and local level. Despite such uncertainty, studying how governments in different countries respond to crises offers a great opportunity to learn from the past and to understand the nature of resilience in the face of significant shocks and disruption.

This book charts how local governments in 11 countries, covering Europe, the United States, South America and Australia, responded to the recent crises and austerity period by shedding new light on the role of contextual- and policy-related conditions as well as the internal capacities and conditions that may influence responses and, ultimately, performance.

This chapter sets the scene for the book, by highlighting the relevance of examining financial crises and austerity and the ways in which governments, and more specifically, local governments, are facing the related shocks. In doing so, it proposes a preliminary framework for exploring governmental financial resilience at the local level. In such a framework, financial resilience is seen as the dynamic combination of internal and external dimensions, including the external environment, financial shocks, vulnerability, anticipatory capacity and coping capacity.

Details

Governmental Financial Resilience
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-262-6

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 30 May 2017

Ulf Papenfuß, Iris Saliterer and Nora Albrecht

This chapter investigates financial resilience of German local governments. The local governments included in this analysis challenged the applicability of the financial…

Abstract

This chapter investigates financial resilience of German local governments. The local governments included in this analysis challenged the applicability of the financial resilience concept by reporting no significant direct impact of the financial crisis during the last 10 years. This is also in line with more general observations suggesting that Germany weathered the financial crisis successfully and without the dramatic effects on its local governments that are observable in other countries. During semi-structured interviews with key administrative decision-makers, it turned out that the financial crisis impacted the local governments’ commercial tax revenues only in its aftermath, and respondents rather highlighted the refugee crisis in 2015 and sudden changes in the tax base caused by relocation, bankruptcy or economic turmoil as financial shocks. More general trends, for example, upper governmental levels devolving more service and administrative responsibility without sufficient compensation, and in particular long-term issues, that is, high debt levels magnifying effects of financial shocks, seem to challenge German local governments. Some cases included in this investigation seem reluctant to make conflict-laden, but necessary changes, and feel exposed to policies and regulations by upper governmental levels. This creates uncertainty and at times leaves them in a sense of helplessness and infeasibility of proper planning. However, the need for investing resources to build up internal capacities has already been pointed out. From a financial resilience perspective, this seems even more important in a context where relying on buffering was feasible, but might prove insufficient once other internal capacities are required to tackle local governments’ financial vulnerabilities.

Details

Governmental Financial Resilience
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-262-6

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 30 May 2017

Ileana Steccolini, Martin Jones and Iris Saliterer

Ambitious though it is to summarise the richness of experiences emerging from the country chapters in a few lines, in this concluding chapter we attempt a short synthesis and…

Abstract

Ambitious though it is to summarise the richness of experiences emerging from the country chapters in a few lines, in this concluding chapter we attempt a short synthesis and interpretation, searching for different approaches to resilience and the underlying contextual and organisational explanatory variables. In doing so, we summarise what we have learned about the financial resilience of local governments across 11 countries and discuss possible developments and future research avenues.

While the financial crisis – in some way – impacted most of the countries included in this book, the effects on local governments were not uniform, with some being affected immediately and/or more substantially than others, partly due to the proximity of the crisis, the natural effects of pre-existing fiscal profiles and intergovernmental relations or national coping policies.

The analysis conducted across the 45 local shows that resilience can take different forms, but that important commonalities can be identified across countries. This reveals that there is no one single approach to resilience and that organisations have the choice, based on their latent capacities and how they perceive their vulnerability in the face of a crisis, over which pathway they follow.

The different patterns of financial resilience that emerge can be interpreted as the result of the dynamic interplay among the dimensions of anticipatory capacity, coping capacity and financial shocks, as well as a local government’s associated vulnerability to them.

Details

Governmental Financial Resilience
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-262-6

Keywords

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 30 May 2017

Abstract

Details

Governmental Financial Resilience
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-262-6

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 2 August 2022

Robert Cameron

Abstract

Details

Public Sector Reform in South Africa 1994–2021
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80382-735-3

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 8 March 2021

Abstract

Details

Corruption in the Public Sector: An International Perspective
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83909-643-3

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 15 June 2022

Abstract

Details

Auditing Practices in Local Governments: An International Comparison
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80117-085-7

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 10 July 2020

Abstract

Details

Public Policy and Governance Frontiers in New Zealand
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83867-455-7

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