From minnow to mighty: a hegemonic analysis of social accountability in BRAC - the world’s largest development NGO

Ahmed, Zahir, Wickramasinghe, Danture and Hopper, Trevor (2022) From minnow to mighty: a hegemonic analysis of social accountability in BRAC - the world’s largest development NGO. Critical Perspectives on Accounting. pp. 1-20. ISSN 1045-2354

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Based on fieldwork in Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC), the world’s largest Non-Governmental Organization in Bangladesh, focusing on a Gramscian perspective of hegemony and Gramsci’s military metaphors, this paper examines whether and how BRAC’s cultural and moral leadership helped build a counter-hegemony through a ‘war of position’ and extended its functional accountability into social accountability. We found that BRAC endeavored to disseminate an ‘alternative’ hegemony and develop a ‘historic bloc’ for waging a ‘war of position’. Our approach informs the difficulty large hybrid NGOs such as BRAC face in effectively combining functional and social accountability and pursuing their financial and social goals simultaneously given the political, cultural, and ethical factors paradoxically confronting them. While functional accountability survives through changing regulations and directions of state apparatuses demanding to see NGO’s accounts for legitimacy purposes and appearing to enact regulation within the dominant hegemony, BRAC has become large conglomerates, and their more effective delivery of social and economic welfare programs give them an appearance of an ‘alterative state’ and reinforces their advocacy. To this end, they involve beneficiaries through continuous social accountability practices, but due to their desire to be financially independent, they maintain a commercial orientation based on neoliberal ideals being propagated in LDCs.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: NGOs, BRAC, hegemony, counter-hegemony, cultural and moral leadership, accountability
Schools and Departments: University of Sussex Business School > Accounting and Finance
SWORD Depositor: Mx Elements Account
Depositing User: Mx Elements Account
Date Deposited: 27 Jul 2022 09:44
Last Modified: 18 Aug 2022 14:45

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