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Book part
Publication date: 28 September 2020

Paula van Veen-Dirks and Anneke Giliam

Purpose – This study focuses on the relationship between local governments and public sector joint ventures (JVs). Public sector JVs are separate administrative entities…

Abstract

Purpose – This study focuses on the relationship between local governments and public sector joint ventures (JVs). Public sector JVs are separate administrative entities that undertake public service activities on behalf of local governments. The aim of this study is to examine the vertical management control packages that are used by local governments to control the relationship with their public sector JVs.

Design/methodology/approach – Two case studies have been conducted in two public sector JVs, owned jointly by more than 20 local governments. The analysis of the two cases is informed by an integrated conceptual framework describing how transactional and relational factors influence control, trust, and risk in the context of public sector JVs.

Findings – The case studies provide a nuanced understanding of the interplay between the vertical management control packages, trust between the parents and the public sector JVs, and risks as perceived by the local governments. The case findings not only reveal how local governments struggle with adequate outcome control but also highlight how and why they rely on behavioral control. A related finding is that while the probability of poor business performance does not have a significant impact on the design of the vertical control packages, the social impact of failure has the potential to create a sense of urgency with regard to changes in the design of vertical management control packages.

Originality/value – This study adds to the literature on interorganizational relationships by providing insight into the use of vertical management control packages in the specific, but relevant, setting of public sector JVs.

Article
Publication date: 1 February 2006

Sue Trafford and Tony Proctor

Seeks to examine important characteristics that go hand‐in‐hand with successful public‐private partnerships.

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Abstract

Purpose

Seeks to examine important characteristics that go hand‐in‐hand with successful public‐private partnerships.

Design/methodology/approach

A grounded theory approach is adopted involving interviews and group discussions with executives of the organisations involved. The rationale behind the reduction of the data collected was based on the commonalty of the words, themes and concepts being produced by the respondents through the written and oral research data.

Findings

A descriptive model is presented which identifies five key characteristics: good communication, openness, effective planning, ethos and direction. It is argued that all contribute to the success of a joint venture.

Research limitations/implications

Further research might examine other examples of public‐private partnerships since the research reported here comprises only a single case study – the major limitation of this research. While utilising the findings of this research may improve the chances of a successful venture, they cannot of their own accord guarantee success since other factors are at play.

Originality/value

The paper presents a valuable insight for both academics and practitioners who are keen to appreciate executives' concerns that can arise in evolving a joint venture between a public and a private sector organisation.

Details

International Journal of Public Sector Management, vol. 19 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3558

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 16 December 2020

Nur Haiza Muhammad Zawawi and Zahirul Hoque

This article examines the power of management control mechanisms as “inscriptions” for bringing the interests of organisations within a purchaser–provider network into alignment.

Abstract

Purpose

This article examines the power of management control mechanisms as “inscriptions” for bringing the interests of organisations within a purchaser–provider network into alignment.

Design/methodology/approach

The study contributes to accounting and accountability literature in hybrid organisations by applying actor-network theory to a case study organisation. This enables an analysis of how a government agency, operating as a social service provider to the community, developed and used management control mechanisms in its intra-organisational units to ensure its operations were aligned with the expectations of inter-organisational networks in a purchaser–provider context. Data were collected using open-ended interviews and by examining internal accounting and management reports, government archival records and newspaper articles.

Findings

Analysis of the results demonstrates that inter-organisational network control was internalised within the provider organisation because of the ability of the controls to function as inscriptions that influenced organisational actions. The authors conclude that the network control travelled across boundaries over time and was assimilated by the provider organisation to become its internal management control mechanisms.

Research limitations/implications

A single case study of a government service provider agency may limit the generalisation of the findings to other hybrid entities or networks. The significant practical essence of this study lies in the diversity within the results that offer a rich representation of the impact of purchaser–provider arrangements on internal organisational systems within a hybrid public sector setting.

Originality/value

The outcomes enhance knowledge of how a hybrid government agency developed, mobilised and institutionalised its management control mechanisms to ensure the activities of one party are consistent with the other parties' expectations within a network.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 35 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 December 2000

Mark Goh and Argus Ang

Indochina has undergone tremendous change in the past decade to achieve good economic performance. However, the continuation of this strong economic performance depends on…

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Abstract

Indochina has undergone tremendous change in the past decade to achieve good economic performance. However, the continuation of this strong economic performance depends on an efficient logistics infrastructure. Examines the region’s logistics realities. Specifically, the paper finds that the logistics infrastructure is still rather backward with inadequate transportation networks, inefficient customs procedures, and basic materials handling facilities. Based on this, proposals are made regarding some strategies for managers, MNCs and logistics providers who are keen to enter this emerging market.

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 30 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 19 May 2022

Per Christian Ahlgren and Johnny Lind

The purpose of this paper is to review the Nordic research on accounting in inter-organizational relationships (IORs) and relates the Nordic contributions to the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to review the Nordic research on accounting in inter-organizational relationships (IORs) and relates the Nordic contributions to the international literature. Additionally, it examines alternative approaches to the understanding of accounting in IORs and proposes some directions for future research.

Design/methodology/approach

Thirty-one papers were identified and assessed in terms of their topic, inter-organizational setting, theoretical approach, research methods and results. This study followed a six-step process from formulating objectives, through establishing inclusion and exclusion criteria, to paper selection and mutual assessments.

Findings

The Nordic literature presents a distinct approach to the understanding of accounting in IORs. The Nordic studies are characterized by theoretical pluralism, in-depth case studies and an interest towards micro-processes in a variety of inter-organizational settings and from the point of view of multiple parties.

Originality/value

The authors propose two specific areas of research: the interconnections between accounting measures, monetary flows and value creation as well as the role of accounting in creating stability and instability in IORs. These areas of research emphasize a stronger engagement with the core issues of managing appropriation and cooperation concerns and provide an outlook for novel insights into classical issues and increased integration within the field.

Details

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

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 18 May 2015

Eksa Kilfoyle and Alan J. Richardson

The purpose of this paper is to adopt “whole network” perspective and analyzes the governance and control mechanisms in the Universal Postal Union (UPU), one of the oldest…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to adopt “whole network” perspective and analyzes the governance and control mechanisms in the Universal Postal Union (UPU), one of the oldest and largest inter-governmental networks, through the lens of institutional entrepreneurship theory. The purpose is to introduce a typology of network governance forms to the accounting literature and to analyze the governance and management control mechanisms within the UPU, a “participatory federation” (Provan, 1983) type of network that has managed the challenges of collective collaboration since 1875.

Design/methodology/approach

The study benefits from unlimited access to all archival materials of the UPU such as minutes of Congress and committee meetings since 1875 as well as secondary documents and market studies related to the postal sector. The data reported in this study are derived from the archives of the UPU in Berne, Switzerland and interviews conducted with senior officials.

Findings

Drawing on the work of Provan (1983) and Provan and Kenis (2008) the authors identify five “ideal type” network governance forms based on such variables as differences in the relative power of network participants and whether these networks have arisen spontaneously or due to external coercion, the authors classify the UPU as a “participatory federation.” Within the theoretical boundaries of this typology the authors identify the multi level governance structures and the use of management control mechanisms by each level of governance. The authors introduce a distinction between the “network constitutional organization” that focusses on the socialization of network members and strategy-level orchestration of the overall network and the “network administrative organization” (NAO) that mobilizes management accounting and control mechanisms to monitor, encourage and facilitate member collaboration. The authors propose that control within a participatory federation is enacted through collective entrepreneurship by governance bodies using management accounting and control mechanisms as institutional carriers.

Research limitations/implications

The paper is focussed on the current state of the UPU’s network structure and processes and did not explore the dynamics around the emergence of the different network governance and control mechanisms. An exploration of the collective construction by network participants of the need for these mechanisms would provide insights into how they emerge and might lead to a better understanding of the role of NAOs in networks.

Practical implications

The paper highlights the challenges faced by collaborative networks and identifies enabling characteristics of a participatory federation’s governance bodies. The empirical observations within the context of the UPU contribute to the theoretical understanding of the desirable characteristics of participatory federations that might be applicable to similar public and private collaborative networks

Originality/value

This study expands the knowledge of management accounting and control systems in networks. It bridges a gap in the accounting literature by adopting a “whole network” perspective and by differentiating types of network governance structures that use management accounting and control systems. This contributes to the understanding of accounting and control across the full range of organizational forms.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 28 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 4 December 2018

Ileana Steccolini

The purpose of this paper is to reflect various pathways for public sector accounting and accountability research in a post-new public management (NPM) context.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to reflect various pathways for public sector accounting and accountability research in a post-new public management (NPM) context.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper first discusses the relationship between NPM and public sector accounting research. It then explores the possible stimuli that inter-disciplinary accounting scholars may derive from recent public administration studies, public policy and societal trends, highlighting possible ways to extend public sector accounting research and strengthen dialogue with other disciplines.

Findings

NPM may have represented a golden age, but also a “golden cage,” for the development of public sector accounting research. The paper reflects possible ways out of this golden cage, discussing future avenues for public sector accounting research. In doing so, it highlights the opportunities offered by re-considering the “public” side of accounting research and shifting the attention from the public sector, seen as a context for public sector accounting research, to publicness, as a concept central to such research.

Originality/value

The paper calls for stronger engagement with contemporary developments in public administration and policy. This could be achieved by looking at how public sector accounting accounts for, but also impacts on, issues of wider societal relevance, such as co-production and hybridization of public services, austerity, crises and wicked problems, the creation and maintenance of public value and democratic participation.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 32 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 15 August 2016

Tobias Johansson, Sven Siverbo and Carolina Camén

– The purpose of this paper is to create knowledge about what factors explain the design of control systems for contracted public services.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to create knowledge about what factors explain the design of control systems for contracted public services.

Design/methodology/approach

Questionnaire data analyzed with structural equation models.

Findings

Legitimacy-seeking is the most important driver in explaining intensity in control of contracted public services. Competition increases the intensity of control which is opposite to standard transaction cost reasoning. Coordination requirements do not affect the design of control systems for contracted public services.

Research limitations/implications

The study suffers from limitations in the form of the use of perception and questionnaire data and imposes restrictions on empirical generalization.

Practical implications

Supplier competition may add control costs rather than lower them. The strong focus on stakeholder alignment may induce more intensive control than necessary for supplier alignment.

Originality/value

The authors add important knowledge on the determinants of control system design for contracted public sector services. The authors conceptualize and measure the control system in use in a more compelling manner than previous research.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 29 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 26 August 2022

Giuseppe Grossi and Daniela Argento

The purpose of this paper is to explain how public sector accounting has changed and is changing due to public governance development.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explain how public sector accounting has changed and is changing due to public governance development.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper conducts a traditional literature review based on selected studies in the fields of accounting, public administration and management. The aim of the review is to explain how diverse forms of public governance influence the fate of public sector accounting, including accountability, performance measurement, budgeting and reporting practices.

Findings

Public governance is developing into more inclusive but also complex forms, resulting in network, collaborative and digital governance. Consequently, the focus and practices of public sector accounting have changed, as reflected in new types of accountability, performance measurement, budgeting and reporting practices.

Research limitations/implications

Drawing upon literature from different fields enables a deeper understanding of the changes in public sector accounting. Nevertheless, the intention is not to execute a systematic literature review but to provide an overview and resolve the scattered body of knowledge generated by previous contributions. The areas of risk management and auditing were not included and deserve further attention.

Originality/value

This paper discusses the need to continually redefine and reassess public sector accounting practices, by recognising the interdependencies between different actors, citizens and digital technologies.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 35 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 28 September 2020

Abstract

Details

Advances in Management Accounting
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83982-913-0

1 – 10 of over 12000