Essays on financial accountability of human rights organizations

Goncharenko, Galina (2016) Essays on financial accountability of human rights organizations. Doctoral thesis (PhD), Norwegian School of Economics.

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Establishing a bridge between research on accountability and user-need research in nonprofit accounting, this dissertation explores the phenomenon of financial accountability of human rights organizations (HROs). It does this by examining how financial reporting mechanisms are being employed to satisfy growing accountability demands and by studying how the distinct pressures from stakeholders and financial reporting regulation interact to shape the accountability practices of HROs. Relying on a socio-constructivist perspective on accounting, this dissertation applies several empirical and methodological approaches, including netnography, analysis of Internet-based discussions, and the use of real-life constructs that are embedded in interview sessions. The dissertation consists of three essays.
The first essay explores the main accountability concerns of HRO professionals within the nonprofit community. It argues that HROs face the highest level of financial accountability demands among non-profit organizations (NPOs) due to the attention they must pay to the propriety of their donors and their own concerns for public expectations and scrutiny. The essay shows a linkage between the complexities in performance measurement and accounting and the difficulties for organizations to demonstrate legitimacy and accountability. The essay advances a significant argument for the development of a special accounting framework for NPOs.
The second essay reveals the accounting information needs of institutional donors and examines their reasoning and their motives for high financial accountability demands. It demonstrates that as they supplement accounting standard setters, powerful stakeholders might create alternative reporting systems using their own patterns of governance. Exercising a great deal of influence over the settings in which HROs operate and by demanding not only financial accounting, but also management accounting information, donors interfere significantly with the operationalization of HROs. This challenges the independence of the missions of HROs and affects the practical aspects of their working agendas.
The third essay explores the role of financial reporting and accounting regulation in the foreign funding restrictions of HROs in selective settings. The study contributes to critical accounting literature by examining the spectrum of governing purposes for which accounting mechanisms could be applied, and by considering the interplay between accounting and various notions of justification, politics and power.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Schools and Departments: University of Sussex Business School > Business and Management
Depositing User: Galina Goncharenko
Date Deposited: 20 Oct 2016 09:14
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2016 09:19

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