Search results

1 – 10 of 53
Article
Publication date: 2 May 2017

Trevor Hopper

The purpose of this paper is to reflect on how best to design, implement and assess accounting reforms in Africa.

1461

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to reflect on how best to design, implement and assess accounting reforms in Africa.

Design/methodology/approach

A cross-disciplinary literature review.

Findings

Whilst neopatrimonialism inhibits optimal development, some forms do not block it. Such governance often permeates African politics and reforms directed at its elimination may fail due to a lack of political will. Thus accounting reforms should recognize their political feasibility and be directed at areas congruent with strengthening attributes of a developmental state.

Research limitations/implications

There is a need to evaluate accounting reforms with respect to the level of a country’s development, relate them to its political governance, and evaluate them with respect to incremental rather than absolute achievement of their aims.

Practical implications

Rather than relying on imported “best practice” accounting standards and systems, there is a need for greater indigenous involvement to create systems that meet local needs and circumstances to increase indigenous accounting capacity and will to reform.

Social implications

Whilst the push to good governance is a desirable ideal, reforms need to be pragmatic with respect to feasibility.

Originality/value

The paper relates recent work on development to accounting reform in Africa which has been neglected by accounting scholars and practitioners.

Details

Journal of Accounting in Emerging Economies, vol. 7 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-1168

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 31 March 2015

Daniel P. S. Goh

In Weberian scholarship, conventional wisdom views the corruption of the modern rational-legal bureaucratic state by local patrimonialisms as an endemic feature in…

Abstract

In Weberian scholarship, conventional wisdom views the corruption of the modern rational-legal bureaucratic state by local patrimonialisms as an endemic feature in non-Western postcolonial state formation. The resultant neopatrimonial state is often blamed for the social, political, and economic ills plaguing these societies. This essay challenges conventional wisdom and argues that neopatrimonialism is a process of hybrid state formation that has its origins in the cultural politics of colonial state building. This is achieved by drawing on a comparative study of British Malaya and the American Philippines, which offers contrastive trajectories of colonialism and state formation in Southeast Asia.

Because of the precariousness of state power due to local resistance and class conflicts, colonial state building involved the deepening of patron–client relations for political control and of rational-legal bureaucracy for social development. In the process, local political relations were marked and displaced as traditional patrimonialisms distinguished from the new modern center. Through native elite collaborators and paternal-populist discourses, new patron–client relations were institutionalized to connect the colonial state to the native periphery. However, colonial officials with different political beliefs and ethnographic world views in the center competed over native policy and generated cyclical crises between patron-clientelist excess and bureaucratic entrepreneurship.

Instead of the prevailing view that postcolonial states are condemned to their colonial design, and that authoritarian rule favors economic development, my study shows that non-Western state formation is non-linear and follows a cyclical pattern between predation and developmentalism, the excesses of which could be moderated.

Details

Patrimonial Capitalism and Empire
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-757-4

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 31 March 2015

Nicolette D. Manglos-Weber

Analysts of modern-day sub-Saharan Africa have argued that its “neopatrimonial regimes,” descending from pre-colonial polities, translate badly to the scale of the…

Abstract

Analysts of modern-day sub-Saharan Africa have argued that its “neopatrimonial regimes,” descending from pre-colonial polities, translate badly to the scale of the nation-state and hinder democratic accountability. In this paper, I argue by contrast that the problem with today’s failed or failing states is that they are not patrimonial enough, if we understand patrimonialism in classic Weberian terms as a system based on traditions of reciprocal interdependence between rulers and citizens, and characterized by personal but malleable ruling networks. I make this argument by showing how the Asante Empire in the 18th and 19th centuries shifted from a working model, incorporating both patrimonial and bureaucratic forms of authority, to an exploitative one that reneged on its traditional commitments to the wider public. The cause of this shift was the expansion of exchange with European nations as a rival avenue to power and wealth. This problem continues today, where African rulers are incentivized by the demands of global banks, the United Nations, and G20 governments rather than internal authority traditions, thus limiting their ability to establish locally effective and publically accountable hybrids of patrimonial and bureaucratic governance.

Details

Patrimonial Capitalism and Empire
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-757-4

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 3 September 2019

Patrick Bond

Neoliberalism’s global scale crisis has been most acute in Africa, in terms of economic welfare, human suffering, ecological damage, and policy sovereignty. Social…

Abstract

Neoliberalism’s global scale crisis has been most acute in Africa, in terms of economic welfare, human suffering, ecological damage, and policy sovereignty. Social opposition to the first rounds of dissent was quelled during the 1980s, and export-led growth strategies finally appeared to pay off when, during 2002–2011, commodity prices soared and “Africa Rising” became the watchword. However, as commodity prices plateaued during 2011–2014 and then crashed, authoritarianism has revived. The reimposition of neoliberal policies, a new round of unrepayable foreign debt (in part associated with Chinese-funded infrastructure), and renewed austerity are all bearing down. From internal elite circuits, this threatens to unleash a well-known combination of neoliberalism, neopatrimonialism, and repression by authoritarian leaders. New rounds of protests, often arising as a direct result of these economic catalysts, were witnessed in some of the most famous sites of struggle such as Tunisia and Egypt in 2011, Nigeria in 2012, and South Africa at various points in recent years. Ongoing strife has also brought intense pressure on governing regimes in Algeria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cote d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Senegal, Sudan, Togo, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, leading to major political reforms and even changes in regimes. This chapter examines the dynamics of this process to expose the neoliberal foundations of rising authoritarianism accompanied by repression – and resistance – across the African landscape.

Details

Class History and Class Practices in the Periphery of Capitalism
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78973-592-5

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 15 October 2015

Andrew Goddard and John Malagila

The purpose of this paper is to advance knowledge and obtain an understanding of the phenomenon of public sector external auditing (PSEA) in Tanzania.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to advance knowledge and obtain an understanding of the phenomenon of public sector external auditing (PSEA) in Tanzania.

Methodology/approach

The paper used a grounded theory method informed by a critical approach. It used data from multiple sources including interviews, observations and documents, to provide a theoretical and practical understanding of PSEA in Tanzania. The theoretical aspects were developed ‘in vivo’ and were also informed by the Habermasian concept of colonisation.

Findings

The principal research findings from the data concern the central phenomenon of managing colonising tendencies in PSEA which appeared to be the core strategy for both the government and external auditors. While the government appeared to manage the National Audit Office of Tanzania (NAOT) appearance and exploited the legitimising features of PSEA, external auditors manoeuvred within colonising tendencies and attempted to maintain the ‘audit supremacy’ image. PSEA in Tanzania encountered colonising tendencies because of weak working relationship between the NAOT and other accountability agencies, inconsistencies in governance and politics, the culture of corruption and secrecy, dependence on foreign financing and mimicking of foreign models. To coexist within this colonising environment, external auditors managed their relationship with auditees and the complexities of PSEA roles. Managing colonising tendencies resulted into obscured subordination of PSEA, contributing to cosmetic accountability and growing public interest in PSEA.

Research limitations/implications

It is hoped that future research in other countries, in and beyond Africa, will be undertaken to broaden and deepen our understanding of the external auditing of public sector entities.

Originality/value

The paper combines grounded theory with a critical approach to understand PSEA in a developing country.

Details

The Public Sector Accounting, Accountability and Auditing in Emerging Economies
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-662-1

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 2 July 2010

Georgi Derluguian and Timothy Earle

Chieftaincies constructed of personal power networks emerge recurrently within states and their business corporations, political parties, mafias, insurgencies and artistic…

Abstract

Chieftaincies constructed of personal power networks emerge recurrently within states and their business corporations, political parties, mafias, insurgencies and artistic cliques. Modern states were built by incorporating chieftaincies as internal organs. Nevertheless, ‘neopatrimonialism’, ‘political machines’, ‘oligarchy’, caudillismo and warlordism – the various names that designate different facets of chieftaincy – represent neither aberrant nor atavistic phenomena. They refer to an immensely adaptable strategy of manipulation in arenas where formal institutional controls prove impractical or undesirable.

Details

Troubled Regions and Failing States: The Clustering and Contagion of Armed Conflicts
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-102-3

Article
Publication date: 14 March 2022

Randolph Nsor-Ambala

This study aims to explore the main features of managerial performance reporting (MPR) in Ghana and applied a national social-cultural framework to understanding the MPR practices.

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to explore the main features of managerial performance reporting (MPR) in Ghana and applied a national social-cultural framework to understanding the MPR practices.

Design/methodology/approach

It is a qualitative study based on responses from mid-level managerial employees within the top companies in Ghana dubbed Ghana Club 100 (GC100). GC100 includes a balanced mix of companies across varied industry classifications and local and multinational companies (MNCs). This enriches the data and deviates from similar studies that have usually relied on data from multinational companies.

Findings

There is evidence that while MPR practices in Ghana do not significantly deviate from western approaches, the underlying reasons for such managerial practices and actions may defer on national socio-cultural lines. This study discusses how various cultural attributions explain the features and motivations for MPR practices in Ghana, including a difference in expectations about the purpose of an MPR.

Practical implications

MNCs must be guided by the findings of this study in their drive to inculcate standardised practices across organisations. It is also essential for MNCs to appreciate the more than usual reliance on verbal cues and symbols in interpreting the appropriate course of action. Regulators must consider systematic activities that reduce the tension and suspicion between them and business actors to improve information transparency. Whistleblowing schemes, while helpful, may not be effective because organisational agents within MPR practice consider themselves part of an “in-group” and manage their dissonance through categorisation, rationalisation and superficial attention to standards. Because of the excessive use of unwritten cues, auditors must consider visits to the client’s operational premises and other independent observation efforts vital to their evidence gathering process.

Originality/value

To the best of the author’s knowledge, this paper is among the first to evaluate MPR practices based on direct responses from “persons close to the MPR action” rather than the current overreliance on secondary data sources such as content analysis.

Details

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

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 16 August 2011

Ewan Sutherland

The purpose of this paper is to present a case study of a country with severe problems in the telecommunications sector, including corruption and maladministration.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present a case study of a country with severe problems in the telecommunications sector, including corruption and maladministration.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper presents a review of the legislation and regulatory decisions over the last decade, plus prosecutions in the USA for bribery in the country.

Findings

The paper reveals that, despite a decade of external efforts to encourage the use of information communication technology to boost development, very little progress has been made in terms of policy, legislation and regulation. No lessons appear to have been learned; the same mistakes could be repeated.

Research limitations/implications

Further case studies are required from West Africa to provide a more complete picture and to assess whether equally serious problems exist in the region.

Practical implications

There is a need for a review of the legislation both for telecommunications and for corruption, with considerable strengthening of institutions and proper democratic accountability.

Social implications

Citizens in this country have seen much greater access to mobile telephony, but in a haphazard way. There has been no regard for their interests (e.g. higher charges), nor consideration of how bribery, high licence fees and avoidance of customs duties affect them.

Originality/value

This is one of the few case studies of telecommunications in West Africa. It addresses issues of corruption, an issue seldom discussed.

Details

info, vol. 13 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6697

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 13 November 2008

Marie Pace and Darren Kew

Conflict resolution efforts have larger implications for democratic development: they provide a valuable discursive space where social change can be collectively…

Abstract

Conflict resolution efforts have larger implications for democratic development: they provide a valuable discursive space where social change can be collectively conceptualized and negotiated to the benefit of democratic development, and where participants gain democratic experience, providing a constructive catalyst in the ongoing social transformation of values, norms, and political cultures. Through a fusion of discourse-based and democratic culture analysis of the Nigerian case, we explore how conflict resolution practices may better engage and catalyze public discourses that promote processes of constructive social change, and how conflict resolution practices can help to build democracy and good governance. We use the example of Nigerian discourses on democratic governance to investigate the broader importance of recognizing and engaging discursive realities. Secondly, we explore how transformative conflict resolution methods, such as workshop models, promote democratic values at the same time that they provide a valuable democratic experience.

Details

Pushing the Boundaries: New Frontiersin Conflict Resolution and Collaboration
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84855-290-6

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 13 April 2017

Barney Warf

The purpose of this paper is to study the uneven geographies of corruption on the African continent. Corruption is an entrenched part of African political culture…

12351

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to study the uneven geographies of corruption on the African continent. Corruption is an entrenched part of African political culture. However, the degree and impacts of corruption vary widely across the continent, ranging from failed states such as Somalia to the region’s bright spot Botswana. This paper first defines corruption and discusses its causes and effects. It then delves into the specifics of African corruption, including its causes and effects such as patrimonial political cultures, clientelism and the role of natural resource exports.

Design/methodology/approach

The study uses data from Transparency International to assess African corruption empirically and geographically, and links its levels of severity using correlations to gross domestic product per capita, literacy, income inequality and freedom of the media.

Findings

The major findings are that while the vast majority of the continent’s one billion people live under very corrupt regimes, the impacts of corruption on economic growth are questionable. Few geographic studies of corruption exist.

Originality/value

The paper’s novelty stems in part from being the first to explore African corruption from a spatial perspective, illustrating its widely varying contexts and consequences.

Details

PSU Research Review, vol. 1 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2399-1747

Keywords

1 – 10 of 53