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Interpreting the dynamics of public sector budgeting: a dialectic of control approach

Seal, William and Ball, Amanda (2011) Interpreting the dynamics of public sector budgeting: a dialectic of control approach Financial Accountability & Management, 27, (4), pp. 409-436. (doi:10.1111/j.1468-0408.2011.00531.x).

Record type: Article


Developing a dialectic of control theoretical framework, the paper shows how the theory may be applied to explain turbulence in public sector budgeting. Applying the framework to fieldwork research in two large UK local authorities, the study explores the knowledge and intentionality of actors engaged in budgeting. Focusing on a crisis in educational funding, cognitive issues based around unreliability of cost and planning data were significant factors behind tactical successes for local budgetees. Central government, however, was able to exert power through its ability to change the rules, leading to new structures for public education provision. The dialectical framework avoids the reductionism and functionalism that characterises some of the budget gaming literature and also has potential implications for interpreting step changes in public funding

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e-pub ahead of print date: 18 October 2011
Published date: November 2011
Organisations: Southampton Law School


Local EPrints ID: 182575
ISSN: 0267-4424
PURE UUID: dd405adf-92d3-45eb-9b29-13c973bba040

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Date deposited: 28 Apr 2011 09:34
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 11:57

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Author: William Seal
Author: Amanda Ball

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