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Translating ambiguous reforms: doing better next time?

By Michela Arnaboldi and Tommaso Palermo


The relevance of management accounting as an instrument of change continues to be a major focus of debate among commentators on public sector reforms. This paper investigates the translation of a key management accounting concern – performance-based appraisal and reward systems – in three central government organisations. Local translations of the management accounting technology reveal distinct divergences and achievements, with the ambiguity inherent in reforms shaped by a confluence of actors, events and technologies. The study concludes by discussing two issues – the role of management accounting and the intersection of rationalities and technologies with the specificities of local settings – that help shed light on the differing outcomes within the three organisations

Topics: HF5601 Accounting, HJ Public Finance, JS Local government Municipal government
Publisher: Elsevier
Year: 2011
DOI identifier: 10.1016/j.mar.2010.10.005
OAI identifier:
Provided by: LSE Research Online
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