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Experiencing institutionalization: the development of new budgets in the UK devolved bodies

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Author Info

  • Mahmoud Ezzamel
  • Noel Hyndman
  • Åge Johnsen
  • Irvine Lapsley
  • June Pallot
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    Abstract

    Purpose – This paper aims to examine an early stage of the institutionalization of accounting practices in devolved UK governments, concentrating on: the construction by devolved bodies of a “rational” set of planning and budgeting documents; the extent of homogeneity/heterogeneity in organizational response to seemingly similar institutional pressures; and politicians' cognition of accounting numbers. Design/methodology/approach – The paper uses neo-institutional theory to examine the planning and budgeting documents of the devolved bodies and material gathered from semi-structured interviews. Findings – The findings point to a process of nested translations, from mission through aims and objectives to targets, with accounting numbers present only in the last stage whereby time-bounded targets are formulated and used to assess achievements. Because of the negotiations around the diverging interests of actors, the translation process is neither linear nor stable. Originality/value – The paper contributes to the literature by: examining the emergence and use of new accounting and budgeting systems in political organizations; understanding the experience of institutionalization of accounting practices; and exploring the impact of accounting reform on political deliberation and joined-up government.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Emerald Group Publishing in its journal Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal.

    Volume (Year): 20 (2007)
    Issue (Month): 1 (January)
    Pages: 11-40

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    Handle: RePEc:eme:aaajpp:v:20:y:2007:i:1:p:11-40

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    Related research

    Keywords: Accounting; Budgetary control; Business planning; Government; Organizations; United Kingdom;

    References

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    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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    1. Mahmoud Ezzamel & Noel S. Hyndman & �ge Johnsen & Irvine Lapsley & June Pallot, 2004. "Has Devolution Increased Democratic Accountability?," Public Money & Management, Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, vol. 24(3), pages 145-152, 06.
    2. Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135.
    3. Mahmoud Ezzamel, 2002. "Accounting for Private Estates and the Household in the Twentieth-Century BC Middle Kingdom, Ancient Egypt," Abacus, Accounting Foundation, University of Sydney, vol. 38(2), pages 235-262.
    4. Meyer, John W., 1986. "Social environments and organizational accounting," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 11(4-5), pages 345-356, July.
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    Cited by:
    1. Andrews, Matthew R., 2009. "Isomorphism and the Limits to African Public Financial Management Reform," Scholarly Articles 4415942, Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
    2. Berland, Nicolas, 2011. "Rhetoric and the fate of budgeting," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/6741, Paris Dauphine University.

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