Public sector to public services: 20 years of “contextual” accounting research
AbstractPurpose – The purpose of this paper is to review and critique the field of public sector accounting research. Many nation states deliver essential public services. In recent times, many of these nations have been involved in programmes of “modernisation”, which, in part, means that these public services now are significantly managed, delivered and governed by private and third sector organisations. Design/methodology/approach – The paper employs a literature-based analysis and critique of public sector accounting articles published in the selected journals from 1992 to 2006. From this, a descriptive meta-analysis of the characteristics of the research will be discussed. Finally, a conceptual analysis of the selected literature will be used to evaluate the field and address a possible future research agenda. Findings – The descriptive analysis highlights that among the research papers reviewed several interesting patterns emerged concerning public service research. Also, the dominance of Australasia and UK research was noted. The extent of research in different levels of government/jurisdiction indicated that the majority of research was organisationally based. Finally, when the various functional types of accounting are considered, management accounting remained the most researched area of interest. Research limitations/implications – The paper only considered research within eight selected journals and over the period 1992 to 2006. Therefore, for instance, US mainstream public sector accounting research has not been reviewed. Originality/value – The main implications of the paper are that “contextual” public service accounting research has a strong tradition and, through the process of reflection and critique of the body of work, several important insights are provided in order to highlight areas for further research and policy development.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Emerald Group Publishing in its journal Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal.
Volume (Year): 21 (2008)
Issue (Month): 2 (February)
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.emeraldinsight.com
Postal: Emerald Group Publishing, Howard House, Wagon Lane, Bingley, BD16 1WA, UK
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.:
- Ciaran Connolly & Noel Hyndman, 2006. "The actual implementation of accruals accounting: Caveats from a case within the UK public sector," Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 19(2), pages 272-290, February.
- Johan Christiaens, 2004. "Capital assets in governmental accounting reforms: comparing Flemish technical issues with international standards," European Accounting Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(4), pages 743-770.
- Iain McLean & Dirk Haubrich & Roxana Gutiérrez-Romero, 2007. "The Perils and Pitfalls of Performance Measurement: The CPA Regime for Local Authorities in England," Public Money & Management, Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, vol. 27(2), pages 111-118, 04.
- Christopher Humphrey, 2005. "The questionable nature of 'third hand' public sector accounting solutions: A case for change?," European Accounting Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(3), pages 475-485.
- Michael Habersam & Martin Piber, 2003. "Exploring intellectual capital in hospitals: two qualitative case studies in Italy and Austria," European Accounting Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(4), pages 753-779.
- Irvine Lapsley, 2001. "The changing public sector: from transition to transformation," European Accounting Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(3), pages 501-504.
- Ogden, S. G., 1995. "Transforming frameworks of accountability: The case of water privatization," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 20(2-3), pages 193-218.
- Peter Skaerbaek, 1992. "Accounting for a theatre: implementing a management accounting system in a cultural institution," European Accounting Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(2), pages 465-469.
- Russell Craig & Joel Amernic, 2006. "The mobilization of accounting in preening for privatization," Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 19(6), pages 82-95, November.
- Russell Craig & Joel Amernic, 2006. "The mobilization of accounting in preening for privatization," Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 19(1), pages 82-95, January.
- Llewellyn, Sue & Northcott, Deryl, 2005. "The average hospital," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 555-583, August.
- Neu, Dean, 2006. "Accounting for public space," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 31(4-5), pages 391-414.
- Stuart Cooper & Graham Pearce, 2011. "Climate change performance measurement, control and accountability in English local authority areas," Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 24(8), pages 1097-1118, October.
- Jane Broadbent & Carolyn Gallop & Richard Laughlin, 2010. "Analysing societal regulatory control systems with specific reference to higher education in England," Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 23(4), pages 506-531, May.
- Dixon, Keith, 2013. "Growth and dispersion of accounting research about New Zealand before and during a National Research Assessment Exercise: Five decades of academic journals bibliometrics," MPRA Paper 51100, University Library of Munich, Germany.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Chris Harris).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.