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Article
Publication date: 15 February 2022

Tamara Volodina, Giuseppe Grossi and Veronika Vakulenko

The purpose of this paper is to explore how internal auditors’ (IAs) roles have changed because of the diffusion of neoliberal ideologies in the Ukrainian public sector.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore how internal auditors’ (IAs) roles have changed because of the diffusion of neoliberal ideologies in the Ukrainian public sector.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative methodological approach was applied. Data were collected from 29 semi-structured interviews with public sector auditors in Ukraine’s central government; secondary data analysis was also performed.

Findings

IAs’ role in Ukraine’s central government has changed significantly, with reforms attempting to move to performance auditing. Consequently, Ukrainian central government IAs appeared in the multi-expectation situation, due to the division of the role senders into two different areas. On one hand, IAs are expected to perform new roles set by the Ministry of Finance of Ukraine, while their traditional role as “watchdogs” is still expected by managers (heads of institutions). Diverging expectations resulted in the role conflict that impedes the change in IAs’ role and performance auditing introduction in the Ukrainian central government. Moreover, we identify factors that motivate IAs to prioritise managers’ expectations, while trying to cope with the existing role conflict in Ukraine’s central government.

Originality/value

This study makes a threefold contribution by enriching the understanding of auditors’ roles, role conflicts that public sector auditors may experience and factors that influence how auditors cope with such conflicts, through the lenses of role theory; exploring the change in roles with the emergence of performance auditing; and shedding light on public sector auditing in the less explored context of a post-Soviet country.

Details

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

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 23 April 2020

Veronika Vakulenko, Anatoli Bourmistrov and Giuseppe Grossi

The purpose of this paper is to explore inter-organizational interactions that might result in prolonged decoupling between central governments' ideas and local…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore inter-organizational interactions that might result in prolonged decoupling between central governments' ideas and local governments' practices during the reform of an institutional field (i.e. healthcare).

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on a qualitative study of the centrally directed reform of the healthcare financing system in Ukraine and focusses on practices and reform ideas from 1991 to 2016.

Findings

The findings show that, for more than 25 years, local governments, as providers of healthcare services, faced two major problems associated with drawbacks of the healthcare financial system: line-item budgeting and fragmentation of healthcare funds. Over 25 years, central government's attempts to reform the healthcare financing system did not comprehensively or systematically address the stated problems. The reformers' ideas seemed to focus on creating reform agendas and issuing new laws, instead of paying attention to challenges in local practices.

Practical implications

This article has two main points that are relevant for practitioners. First, it calls for greater involvement from local actors during all stages of public sector reforms, in order to ensure the relevance of developed reform strategies. Second, it points to potential challenges that central governments may face when conducting healthcare financing system reforms in transitional economies.

Originality/value

The paper's contribution is twofold: it outlines reasons for problematic implementation of healthcare financing system reform in Ukraine and explains them through a “reverse decoupling” concept.

Details

International Journal of Public Sector Management, vol. 33 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3558

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 5 October 2020

Veronika Vakulenko, Igor Khodachek and Anatoli Bourmistrov

To compare Russian and Ukrainian central governments' reaction to the pandemic, reflected in extraordinary budgetary allocations and to provide our understanding of how…

1011

Abstract

Purpose

To compare Russian and Ukrainian central governments' reaction to the pandemic, reflected in extraordinary budgetary allocations and to provide our understanding of how those allocations can be attributed to the two countries’ different social, economic and political contexts.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is built on secondary data analysis over a six-month period, i.e. January–June 2020, during which the real-time events were documented in a research diary. The data sources included budgetary and other relevant legislature, official reports from international agencies, news, press conferences and videos of interviews with key stakeholders.

Findings

The findings showed that uncertainty caused by COVID-19 and the corresponding lockdown policies in Russia and Ukraine have produced two divergent patterns of budgetary allocations: step-by-step budgetary allocations in Russia vs one emergency budget decision in Ukraine.

Originality/value

The paper explains the divergence of the central governments' budgetary decisions based on the same lockdown policy, in light of the different ideological and financial legitimized action spaces that frame governmental decisions.

Details

Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management, vol. 32 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1096-3367

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 January 2021

Veronika Vakulenko

The purpose is to explore the role of international financial institutions (IFIs) during public financial management reform in a transitional economy. In particular, the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose is to explore the role of international financial institutions (IFIs) during public financial management reform in a transitional economy. In particular, the study focuses on interaction between external enablers and local actors.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on a qualitative study of public financial management reform in Ukraine during 1991–2014. This period is divided into stages corresponding with two projects financed by the World Bank: “Treasury System” and “Public Finance Modernization.”

Findings

First, IFIs supported a Ukrainian economy weakened by financial crisis and insisted on a comprehensive reform of public financial management to facilitate recovery. By strategically addressing local challenges, eliminating local uncertainties and maintaining stable interactions, IFIs gained support from the central government. Local actors continued the reform by negotiating with other actors and getting quorum support. In the second stage, IFIs could not implement planned changes. Even though the change was well-perceived at the beginning, developed tensions between local actors were overlooked by IFIs, which resulted in loss of commitment of the State Treasury representatives. The continuous political instability in Ukraine constrained interaction between IFIs and the Ministry of Finance and reduced political will for conducting reforms.

Originality/value

The study contributes to the debate on the adequacy of externally driven public management reforms in developing countries by exploring actions and interactions of global and local actors during the change in public sector practices.

Details

Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management, vol. 34 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1096-3367

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 29 July 2022

Herman Aksom

Once introduced and conceptualized as a factor that causes erosion and decay of social institutions and subsequent deinstitutionalization, the notion of entropy is at odds…

Abstract

Purpose

Once introduced and conceptualized as a factor that causes erosion and decay of social institutions and subsequent deinstitutionalization, the notion of entropy is at odds with predictions of institutional isomorphism and seems to directly contradict the tendency toward ever-increasing institutionalization. The purpose of this paper is to offer a resolution of this theoretical inconsistency by revisiting the meaning of entropy and reconceptualizing institutionalization from an information-theoretic point of view.

Design/methodology/approach

It is a theoretical paper that offers an information perspective on institutionalization.

Findings

A mistaken understanding of the nature and role of entropy in the institutional theory is caused by conceptualizing it as a force that counteracts institutional tendencies and acts in opposite direction. Once institutionalization and homogeneity are seen as a product of natural tendencies in the organizational field, the role of entropy becomes clear. Entropy manifests itself at the level of information processing and corresponds with increasing uncertainty and the decrease of the value of information. Institutionalization thus can be seen as a special case of an increase in entropy and a decrease of knowledge. Institutionalization is a state of maximum entropy.

Originality/value

It is explained why institutionalization and institutional persistence are what to be expected in the long run and why information entropy contributes to this tendency. Contrary to the tenets of the institutional work perspective, no intentional efforts of individuals and collective actors are needed to maintain institutions. In this respect, the paper contributes to the view of institutional theory as a theory of self-organization.

Details

International Journal of Organizational Analysis, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1934-8835

Keywords

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