Making Professional Decisions Account-able

Ida Schrøder*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to analyze how accounts of costs and accounts of needs are shaped, connected and made durable in the day-to-day practices of welfare professionals. Design/methodology/approach: Throughout a year, the author traced the work of connecting costs and needs across and beyond the organizational boundaries of the accounting and child protection departments in a Danish local government. Over the course of the study, accountants realized that the budget was overspent and this, accordingly, gave insights into what was done to make accounts more durable. Findings: This paper shows that multiple accountabilities are made possible through the ongoing and practical work of shaping, connecting and making accounts durable. This fragile process fails when connections between separate aspects of organizational work are not made visible. Research limitations/implications: This paper attempts to convey the potentials of a symmetrical approach for organizational ethnography. In this way, it does not, for instance, address prevailing budget limits or regimes of cost control. Originality/value: Insights into how accounts are shaped into meeting multiple and diverging demands for accountability are rare in both the fields of management accounting as a practice and research on social work practice.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Organizational Ethnography
Number of pages15
ISSN2046-6749
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 Aug 2019

Bibliographical note

Epub ahead of print. Published online: 6 August 2019

Keywords

  • Accountability
  • Accounting
  • Child protection
  • Decision making

Cite this

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Making Professional Decisions Account-able. / Schrøder, Ida.

In: Journal of Organizational Ethnography, 06.08.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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