Justifying Public Sector Accounting Change from the Inside: Ex-post Reflections from Three Countries

Noel Hyndman, Mariannunziata Liguori*, Renate E. Meyer, Tobias Polzer, Johann Seiwald, Ileana Steccolini

*Kontaktforfatter af dette arbejde

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

Resumé

Looking at accounting reforms in central government, the paper investigates how key actors (senior managers responsible for developing and/or implementing change) account for the related change outcomes subsequent to implementation. Using aggregated data from three countries (the UK, Italy, and Austria), and a mixed‐methods approach, the study investigates which rhetorical strategies are used to construct ex‐post legitimation or delegitimation of the changes, and how these strategies are associated with different perceived outcomes of change. Building on previous literature, possible strategies for ex‐post (de‐)legitimation and outcomes of change are identified. The study finds that radical change (leading to new accounting systems bedding down with accompanying new interpretative schemes) is associated with ex‐post legitimation based on rationalization. In contrast, incremental change (introducing new accounting tools, but not resulting in changed interpretative schemes) is often connected with narratives criticizing (or delegitimating) the change. The study contributes to the scant body of literature focusing on ex‐post legitimation of accounting change. How managers justify change in relation to its outcomes provides useful insights for the current situation when, as a consequence of crisis and austerity, new roles and relevancies for accounting and control systems continue to emerge. It is argued that for change to be substantive, it is not only essential that the actual systems and structures of accounting are adjusted, but it is critical that the way people interpret and make sense of accounting information (and consequently take decisions) is also modified. The particular challenges of achieving this in a period of crisis are highlighted.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftAbacus
Vol/bind55
Udgave nummer3
Sider (fra-til)582-609
Antal sider28
ISSN0001-3072
DOI
StatusUdgivet - sep. 2019

Bibliografisk note

Published online: 15. August 2019

Emneord

  • Public-sector accounting
  • Accounting change
  • Outcomes of change
  • Ex-post legitimation
  • Mixed methods
  • Central government

Citer dette

Hyndman, Noel ; Liguori, Mariannunziata ; Meyer, Renate E. ; Polzer, Tobias ; Seiwald, Johann ; Steccolini, Ileana. / Justifying Public Sector Accounting Change from the Inside : Ex-post Reflections from Three Countries. I: Abacus. 2019 ; Bind 55, Nr. 3. s. 582-609.
@article{4eaa01ea660b4f20918092ef75d7e9aa,
title = "Justifying Public Sector Accounting Change from the Inside: Ex-post Reflections from Three Countries",
abstract = "Looking at accounting reforms in central government, the paper investigates how key actors (senior managers responsible for developing and/or implementing change) account for the related change outcomes subsequent to implementation. Using aggregated data from three countries (the UK, Italy, and Austria), and a mixed‐methods approach, the study investigates which rhetorical strategies are used to construct ex‐post legitimation or delegitimation of the changes, and how these strategies are associated with different perceived outcomes of change. Building on previous literature, possible strategies for ex‐post (de‐)legitimation and outcomes of change are identified. The study finds that radical change (leading to new accounting systems bedding down with accompanying new interpretative schemes) is associated with ex‐post legitimation based on rationalization. In contrast, incremental change (introducing new accounting tools, but not resulting in changed interpretative schemes) is often connected with narratives criticizing (or delegitimating) the change. The study contributes to the scant body of literature focusing on ex‐post legitimation of accounting change. How managers justify change in relation to its outcomes provides useful insights for the current situation when, as a consequence of crisis and austerity, new roles and relevancies for accounting and control systems continue to emerge. It is argued that for change to be substantive, it is not only essential that the actual systems and structures of accounting are adjusted, but it is critical that the way people interpret and make sense of accounting information (and consequently take decisions) is also modified. The particular challenges of achieving this in a period of crisis are highlighted.",
keywords = "Public-sector accounting, Accounting change, Outcomes of change, Ex-post legitimation, Mixed methods, Central government, Public-sector accounting, Accounting change, Outcomes of change, Ex-post legitimation, Mixed methods, Central government",
author = "Noel Hyndman and Mariannunziata Liguori and Meyer, {Renate E.} and Tobias Polzer and Johann Seiwald and Ileana Steccolini",
note = "Published online: 15. August 2019",
year = "2019",
month = "9",
doi = "10.1111/abac.12168",
language = "English",
volume = "55",
pages = "582--609",
journal = "Abacus: A journal of accounting, finance and business studies",
issn = "0001-3072",
publisher = "Wiley",
number = "3",

}

Hyndman, N, Liguori, M, Meyer, RE, Polzer, T, Seiwald, J & Steccolini, I 2019, 'Justifying Public Sector Accounting Change from the Inside: Ex-post Reflections from Three Countries', Abacus, bind 55, nr. 3, s. 582-609. https://doi.org/10.1111/abac.12168

Justifying Public Sector Accounting Change from the Inside : Ex-post Reflections from Three Countries. / Hyndman, Noel; Liguori, Mariannunziata; Meyer, Renate E.; Polzer, Tobias; Seiwald, Johann; Steccolini, Ileana.

I: Abacus, Bind 55, Nr. 3, 09.2019, s. 582-609.

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Justifying Public Sector Accounting Change from the Inside

T2 - Ex-post Reflections from Three Countries

AU - Hyndman, Noel

AU - Liguori, Mariannunziata

AU - Meyer, Renate E.

AU - Polzer, Tobias

AU - Seiwald, Johann

AU - Steccolini, Ileana

N1 - Published online: 15. August 2019

PY - 2019/9

Y1 - 2019/9

N2 - Looking at accounting reforms in central government, the paper investigates how key actors (senior managers responsible for developing and/or implementing change) account for the related change outcomes subsequent to implementation. Using aggregated data from three countries (the UK, Italy, and Austria), and a mixed‐methods approach, the study investigates which rhetorical strategies are used to construct ex‐post legitimation or delegitimation of the changes, and how these strategies are associated with different perceived outcomes of change. Building on previous literature, possible strategies for ex‐post (de‐)legitimation and outcomes of change are identified. The study finds that radical change (leading to new accounting systems bedding down with accompanying new interpretative schemes) is associated with ex‐post legitimation based on rationalization. In contrast, incremental change (introducing new accounting tools, but not resulting in changed interpretative schemes) is often connected with narratives criticizing (or delegitimating) the change. The study contributes to the scant body of literature focusing on ex‐post legitimation of accounting change. How managers justify change in relation to its outcomes provides useful insights for the current situation when, as a consequence of crisis and austerity, new roles and relevancies for accounting and control systems continue to emerge. It is argued that for change to be substantive, it is not only essential that the actual systems and structures of accounting are adjusted, but it is critical that the way people interpret and make sense of accounting information (and consequently take decisions) is also modified. The particular challenges of achieving this in a period of crisis are highlighted.

AB - Looking at accounting reforms in central government, the paper investigates how key actors (senior managers responsible for developing and/or implementing change) account for the related change outcomes subsequent to implementation. Using aggregated data from three countries (the UK, Italy, and Austria), and a mixed‐methods approach, the study investigates which rhetorical strategies are used to construct ex‐post legitimation or delegitimation of the changes, and how these strategies are associated with different perceived outcomes of change. Building on previous literature, possible strategies for ex‐post (de‐)legitimation and outcomes of change are identified. The study finds that radical change (leading to new accounting systems bedding down with accompanying new interpretative schemes) is associated with ex‐post legitimation based on rationalization. In contrast, incremental change (introducing new accounting tools, but not resulting in changed interpretative schemes) is often connected with narratives criticizing (or delegitimating) the change. The study contributes to the scant body of literature focusing on ex‐post legitimation of accounting change. How managers justify change in relation to its outcomes provides useful insights for the current situation when, as a consequence of crisis and austerity, new roles and relevancies for accounting and control systems continue to emerge. It is argued that for change to be substantive, it is not only essential that the actual systems and structures of accounting are adjusted, but it is critical that the way people interpret and make sense of accounting information (and consequently take decisions) is also modified. The particular challenges of achieving this in a period of crisis are highlighted.

KW - Public-sector accounting

KW - Accounting change

KW - Outcomes of change

KW - Ex-post legitimation

KW - Mixed methods

KW - Central government

KW - Public-sector accounting

KW - Accounting change

KW - Outcomes of change

KW - Ex-post legitimation

KW - Mixed methods

KW - Central government

UR - https://sfx-45cbs.hosted.exlibrisgroup.com/45cbs?url_ver=Z39.88-2004&url_ctx_fmt=info:ofi/fmt:kev:mtx:ctx&ctx_enc=info:ofi/enc:UTF-8&ctx_ver=Z39.88-2004&rfr_id=info:sid/sfxit.com:azlist&sfx.ignore_date_threshold=1&rft.object_id=954921333005&rft.object_portfolio_id=&svc.holdings=yes&svc.fulltext=yes

U2 - 10.1111/abac.12168

DO - 10.1111/abac.12168

M3 - Journal article

AN - SCOPUS:85070757510

VL - 55

SP - 582

EP - 609

JO - Abacus: A journal of accounting, finance and business studies

JF - Abacus: A journal of accounting, finance and business studies

SN - 0001-3072

IS - 3

ER -