Legitimating change in the public sector: the introduction of (rational?) accounting practices in the UK, Italy and Austria

Hyndman, Noel, Liguori, Mariannunziata, Meyer, Renate E, Polzer, Tobias, Rota, Silvia, Seiwald, Johann and Steccolini, Ileana (2018) Legitimating change in the public sector: the introduction of (rational?) accounting practices in the UK, Italy and Austria. Public Management Review, 20 (9). pp. 1374-1399. ISSN 1471-9037

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Abstract

This paper explores the deployment of rhetorical legitimation strategies during public-sector accounting reforms by investigating how organizational actors justify related changes in the central governments of the United Kingdom (UK), Italy and Austria. The study shows that changes are largely legitimated (and rarely delegitimated) by key actors, with authorization strategies dominating. Country differences and actors’ professional backgrounds also impact upon the use of legitimation strategies, with those from an accounting background and working in the UK being more likely to justify change in terms of rationalization and normalization. Italian and Austrian actors more frequently resort to authorization strategies to explain accounting change.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Business, Management and Economics > Accounting and Finance
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HJ Public Finance > HJ9701 Public accounting. Auditing
Depositing User: Tobias Polzer
Date Deposited: 10 Jan 2019 10:55
Last Modified: 04 Nov 2019 10:23
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/81151

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