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Accounting & NPM in UK Local Government - contributions towards accountability

Accounting & NPM in UK Local Government - contributions towards accountability
Accounting & NPM in UK Local Government - contributions towards accountability
Despite its size and economic importance, accounting in UK local government is still relatively under-researched. Two important developments which have emerged in recent years across the whole public sector are governance and New Public Management. It is timely to study the contribution which local government accounting makes in this changing context. Governance has proved a particularly contentious concept to define. This study has attempted to understand governance from the participants’ perspective and consequently a grounded theory methodology has been used. The empirical research comprised four UK local authority case studies over a twelve month period. The grounded theory developed makes two important contributions to our knowledge of accounting and NPM in relation to governance and accountability in local government. These are the relative importance of accountability rather than governance per se to participants, and the more significant contribution to accountability made by budgeting practices rather than NPM practices such as performance indicators, contracting out of services and Best Value studies. The reasons for these findings are explored and theorised in the paper, using Bourdieu's concept of habitus.
accountability, budgeting, habitus, local government
0267-4424
191-218
Goddard, Andrew
1bee5bd5-13fe-43e5-9c7d-a23acdf431b2
Goddard, Andrew
1bee5bd5-13fe-43e5-9c7d-a23acdf431b2

Goddard, Andrew (2005) Accounting & NPM in UK Local Government - contributions towards accountability. Financial Accountability and Management, 21 (2), 191-218. (doi:10.1111/j.1468-0408.2005.00215.x).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Despite its size and economic importance, accounting in UK local government is still relatively under-researched. Two important developments which have emerged in recent years across the whole public sector are governance and New Public Management. It is timely to study the contribution which local government accounting makes in this changing context. Governance has proved a particularly contentious concept to define. This study has attempted to understand governance from the participants’ perspective and consequently a grounded theory methodology has been used. The empirical research comprised four UK local authority case studies over a twelve month period. The grounded theory developed makes two important contributions to our knowledge of accounting and NPM in relation to governance and accountability in local government. These are the relative importance of accountability rather than governance per se to participants, and the more significant contribution to accountability made by budgeting practices rather than NPM practices such as performance indicators, contracting out of services and Best Value studies. The reasons for these findings are explored and theorised in the paper, using Bourdieu's concept of habitus.

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More information

Published date: 2005
Keywords: accountability, budgeting, habitus, local government
Organisations: Management

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 35661
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/35661
ISSN: 0267-4424
PURE UUID: 0a7aea2e-32c2-4341-9d9e-379da4bd984b

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Date deposited: 22 May 2006
Last modified: 23 Jul 2020 16:34

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Author: Andrew Goddard

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