Search results

1 – 10 of over 53000
To view the access options for this content please click here
Article

Maurice Yolles

Agency is inherently an institution and involves dynamic socio-cultural processes that facilitate development. This paper is written in three parts. The purpose in Part 1…

Abstract

Purpose

Agency is inherently an institution and involves dynamic socio-cultural processes that facilitate development. This paper is written in three parts. The purpose in Part 1 was to represent agency theory as an institutional theory, and consideration was made of the relationship between development, growth and globalisation. In Part 2, the purpose was to explore development with respect to the political context, explaining in terms of culture under what conditions political groups may come to power. Using political frames intended to define their nature and realities, they seek to attract agents in their political sphere to gain administrative power. In this Part 3, the purpose of this paper is to model, using cybernetic agency theory, the nature of development and reduction to instrumentality.

Design/methodology/approach

Development theory is a multidisciplinary field in which research and theories are clustered together and set within an adaptive institutional activity system framework. An adaptive activity system has a plural membership of agents represented by agency. In Parts 1 and 2 of this paper, agency was shown to have an institutional basis. Activity system development was also explained as a process of institutional evolution, and its potential was shown to provide power acquisition in a political landscape by competitive political frames which vie for support in a place of potentially susceptible agents. Here in Part 3, agency theory will be used to model the dynamic relationships between political frames and the agents that they wish to attract by projecting both cognitive and emotional structures, this enabling the anticipation of behaviour.

Findings

These relate to the three parts of the paper taken together. Agency is an evolutionary institutional system that can represent socio-political development. A model for political development has been created that identifies the conditions under which formal political groups are able to promote frames of policy to attract support from autonomous agents that constitute the membership of the activity system, and hence gain agency status. On the way to this, it connects Bauman’s theory of liquid modernity to Sorokin’s theory of socio-cultural dynamics and cultural stability. One result is the notion of liquid development, an unstable condition of development in adaptive activity systems. Agency theory can usefully explain detailed changes in agency, the relationships between agency agents, and interactions between agencies, this embracing institutional processes.

Research limitations/implications

The implication of this research is that it will allow empirical methods to be used that potentially enables political outcomes in complex socio-political environments to be anticipated, given additional appropriate measurement criteria.

Originality/value

The synergy of agency and institutional theories to explain the process of development is new, as is its application to the political development process in a political landscape. As part of this synergistic process, it has been shown how Bauman’s concept of liquidity relates to Sorokin’s ideas of socio-cultural change.

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article

Arifur Khan, Dessalegn Getie Mihret and Mohammad Badrul Muttakin

The effect of political connections of agency costs has attracted considerable research attention due to the increasing recognition of the fact that political connection…

Abstract

Purpose

The effect of political connections of agency costs has attracted considerable research attention due to the increasing recognition of the fact that political connection influences corporate decisions and outcomes. This paper aims to explore the association between corporate political connections and agency cost and examine whether audit quality moderates this association.

Design/methodology/approach

A data set of Bangladeshi listed non-financial companies is used. A usable sample of 968 firm-year observations was drawn for the period from 2005 to 2013. Asset utilisation ratio, the interaction of Tobin’s Q and free cash flow and expense ratio are used as alternative proxies for agency costs; membership to Big 4 audit firms or local associates of Big 4 firms is used as a proxy for audit quality.

Findings

Results show that politically connected firms exhibit higher agency costs than their unconnected counterparts, and audit quality moderates the relationship between political connection and agency costs. The results of this paper suggest the importance of audit quality to mitigate agency problem in an emerging economic setting.

Research limitations/implications

The findings of this paper could be of interest to regulators wishing to focus regulatory effort on significant issues influencing stock market efficiency. The findings could also inform auditors in directing audit effort through a more complete assessment of risk and determining reasonable levels of audit fees. Finally, results could inform financial statement users to direct investments to firms with lower agency costs.

Originality/value

To the knowledge of the authors, this study is one of the first to explore the relationship between political connection and agency costs, and the moderating effect of audit quality of this relationship.

Details

International Journal of Accounting & Information Management, vol. 24 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1834-7649

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article

Maurice Yolles

Agency involves dynamic socio-cultural processes that facilitate development. This paper is written in three parts. In Part 1, there are two purposes, the first purpose is…

Abstract

Purpose

Agency involves dynamic socio-cultural processes that facilitate development. This paper is written in three parts. In Part 1, there are two purposes, the first purpose is to intimately connect agency and institutional theory, and the second purpose is to explore the relationship between agency development and growth and globalisation. In Part 2, the purpose will be to explore development with respect to the political context by explaining in terms of culture under what conditions political groups may come to power. Using political frames intended to define their nature and realities, political groups seek to attract agents in their political sphere to gain administrative power. In Part 3, the purpose will be to model, using cybernetic agency theory, the nature of development and its reduction to instrumentality.

Design/methodology/approach

In this part of the three-part paper, development theory is explained as a multidisciplinary field in which research and theories are clustered together and set within an adaptive institutional activity system framework. An adaptive activity system has a plural membership of agents represented by agency. Agency represents an activity system that will be argued to operate through its institutional metasystem. This enables activity system development to be explained as a process of institutional evolution. In Part 1, the problem will be addressed of how the relationship between agency and institution enables institutional change. To resolve this agency will be shown to be institutional in nature, and agency development as a process of institutional evolution. To distinguish between development and growth/globalisation, agency will be taken to have an internal and external context. Distinction will then be made between development as an internal attribute of agency and its consequences, which may include the external attributes of growth/globalisation. It will also be explained that development may have a less desirable condition when it becomes liquid.

Findings

The three-part paper develops a political development theory that identifies the conditions under which formal political groups are able to promote frames of policy to attract support from autonomous agents that constitute the membership of the activity system, and hence gain agency status. Furthermore, Bauman’s theory of liquid modernity is connected to Sorokin’s theory of socio-cultural dynamics and cultural stability. One result is the notion of liquid development, an unstable condition of development in adaptive activity systems.

Research limitations/implications

The implication of this research is that, given additional appropriate measurement criteria, it will allow conceptual and empirical methods to be used that will potentially enable political outcomes in complex socio-political environments to be anticipated.

Social implications

The implication of this research is that it will allow empirical methods to be used that potentially enables political outcomes in complex socio-political environments to be anticipated, given additional appropriate measurement criteria.

Originality/value

The synergy of agency and institutional theories to explain the process of development is new, as well as its application to the political development process in a political landscape. As part of this synergistic process, Bauman’s concept of liquidity is shown to relate to Sorokin’s ideas of socio-cultural change.

Details

Kybernetes, vol. 49 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0368-492X

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Book part

Martijn Konings

Over the last decades, the social sciences have become increasingly concerned with the role of the state and the politics of institutional restructuring. Within mainstream…

Abstract

Over the last decades, the social sciences have become increasingly concerned with the role of the state and the politics of institutional restructuring. Within mainstream political science this has led to the development of a “state-centered” research program that emphasizes the autonomy of institutions. Marxist theory, however, has continued to adhere to a “society-centered” perspective, seeking to combine an ability to account for institutional change with the analysis of more structural social and economic forces. After some introductory comments that frame the problematic within which the paper is situated (Section 1), I discuss in Section 2 three of the most important recent Marxist attempts to construe the relation between socio-economic imperatives and political institutions. My argument is that Marxists’ attempts to relativize the autonomy of state institutions are too often still based on the postulation of an unexplained structural moment. This leaves them vulnerable to institutionalist claims concerning the autonomous nature of institutions. Section 3 proposes a different way of thinking the role of institutions in capitalist society. This approach breaks with a causalist, structuralist mode of explanation and relies on a more hermeneutic understanding of the role of institutions. I will shift the problematic to the relation between institutions and agency, arguing for a more pragmatist understanding of the role of institutions and an agency-based understanding of the formation of socio-economic imperatives. Section 4 concludes with some thoughts on the prospects held out, as well as the challenges faced, by the approach proposed in this paper.

Details

The Capitalist State and Its Economy: Democracy in Socialism
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-176-7

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article

Maurice Yolles

Agency development is inherently a process of institutional evolution. The purpose of this part 2 (of a 3 part) paper is to explore development in the political context…

Abstract

Purpose

Agency development is inherently a process of institutional evolution. The purpose of this part 2 (of a 3 part) paper is to explore development in the political context, producing a cultural model of political development as institutional evolution, explaining how political groups may come to power culturally. This requires a detailed examination of culture and cultural change, and a study of strategic political frames that define political groups seeking support for political power from agents in a political sphere. During cultural instabilities or social crises, frames may become cynical and embrace liquid persuasion and hence populism.

Design/methodology/approach

A cultural model for political development is created involving three variables (emotional climate, cultural order and compliance). This enables cultural comparison of different political groups. Strategic political frames are examined to understand how those vying for agency power may attract support from agents in the activity system. Liquid frames are also explored to understand the cynical nature of populism and its contribution to institutional devolution.

Findings

A political development theory result that identifies the conditions under which formal political groups can promote frames that may attract support from agents from who they require support to gain agency power status. A model is produced for political development. It explains populism as a thin ideology with a collectivist orientation that uses liquid framing, and it introduces its individualist counterpart, political synergism.

Research limitations/implications

The implication of this research is that it will allow empirical methods to be used that potentially enable political outcomes in complex political environments to be anticipated, given additional appropriate measurement criteria.

Originality/value

Linking agency and institutional theory to explain the process of development is new, as is its application to the political development process in a political landscape. As part of this linkage, it has been shown how Bauman’s concept of liquidity relates to Sorokin’s ideas of socio-cultural change.

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article

Robert Gregory

This purpose of this paper is to discuss the relationship between political independence and operational impartiality in regard to the effectiveness of anti-corruption…

Abstract

Purpose

This purpose of this paper is to discuss the relationship between political independence and operational impartiality in regard to the effectiveness of anti-corruption agencies (ACAs). Against this background of western orthodoxy, it asks whether a non-western country with high levels of corruption (Vietnam being an example) can find another pathway in its efforts to effectively combat corruption.

Design/methodology/approach

An exercise in qualitative conceptual clarification and theoretical speculation, drawing upon practical examples.

Findings

It is argued that it is important to distinguish between de jure and de facto political independence, and that neither can be fully understood unless they are considered in relationship to other key values, particularly operational impartiality, public accountability, and systemic legitimacy, and in the context of bureaucratic politics. There is little coherent theoretical knowledge available about the relationships among these variables. Such values are central to western notions of “good government” but are much less institutionalised in non-western jurisdictions with high levels of corruption. The question is raised: can such countries, Vietnam being one example, develop effective anti-corruption strategies which because of the nature of their own political system, cannot depend on political independence for its ACAs?

Originality/value

Attention is drawn to some conceptual and putatively theoretical issues relating to the effectiveness of ACAs, and which have received little explicit attention in the relevant academic literature.

Details

Asian Education and Development Studies, vol. 4 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-3162

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here

Abstract

Details

The Political Economy of Antitrust
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-44453-093-6

To view the access options for this content please click here
Book part

Claire E. Rasmussen

Scheingold's The Politics of Rights and The Political Novel while having different objects of study at the center of their analyses, both concern themselves with the…

Abstract

Scheingold's The Politics of Rights and The Political Novel while having different objects of study at the center of their analyses, both concern themselves with the difficulties in producing meaningful social change on a late modern political terrain. His critiques of rights-claiming are echoed in debates over the practical and philosophical difficulties incorporating animals into contemporary legal regimes. This chapter considers insights from Scheingold's two texts arguing that his insights into the legal imaginary in the latter text anticipates the critique of animal rights while his emphasis on the fictional imaginary in the former text can also be found in contemporary texts that suggest animals can help us rethink political agency.

Details

Special Issue: The Legacy of Stuart Scheingold
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-344-5

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article

Manto Lampropoulou

The purpose of this paper is to provide insights into the impact of agencification on the process of administrative reorganization in Greece. It is suggested that agencies

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide insights into the impact of agencification on the process of administrative reorganization in Greece. It is suggested that agencies tend to create a parallel administrative space that operates disjointly or even detached from the central bureaucracy. This hypothesis is tested and elaborated in relation to Greece's centralist administrative tradition.

Design/methodology/approach

The analysis identifies the critical junctures of the domestic agencification pattern and seeks to explain its evolution on the basis of historical-cultural factors, rational choice explanations and country-specific variables. The methodology combines quantitative and qualitative research. Along with a review of existing literature, data were collected through semi-structured interviews and the Registry of Entities and Agencies.

Findings

The findings show that agencification never became a coherent policy reform tool, while its outcomes were filtered by the centralist and politicized tradition of the Greek state. The effect of agencification was proved to be highly path-dependent and contingent upon the broader administrative tradition. The agencification policy does not follow a clear direction and has been shaped as a random combination of ad hoc decisions, external pressures and domestic politics.

Research limitations/implications

The paper provides some generalizations of the agencification experience. However, they do not cover all specificities and particularities of agencies and their applicability varies. Further research could consider these variations.

Originality/value

A novelty of this study is that it links the agencification effect with three key aspects of the administrative reform process, namely, decentralization, debureaucratization and depoliticization. In addition, no single study exists regarding agencification in Greece; thus, the paper is the first to provide an overall view of the Greek arm's length bodies.

Details

International Journal of Public Sector Management, vol. 34 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3558

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Book part

Helena Silverstein

This paper examines several common features that animate Stuart Scheingold's The Politics of Rights and The Political Novel. In exploring the affinities between these…

Abstract

This paper examines several common features that animate Stuart Scheingold's The Politics of Rights and The Political Novel. In exploring the affinities between these contrasting works, the paper takes up Scheingold's engagement with the cultural imagination – the legal imagination in The Politics of Rights and the literary imagination in The Political Novel – and shows how this engagement informs Scheingold's analysis of illusion, dualism, contingency, and agency.

Details

Special Issue: The Legacy of Stuart Scheingold
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-344-5

1 – 10 of over 53000