Isomorphism and the Limits to African Public Financial Management Reform
AbstractMany reform results fall below expectations in the development arena, especially in the public sector. Do the reforms just need more time to work better, or should we adjust our expectations? In addressing this question, the current article draws from isomorphism to think about potential limits to reform in developing countries. The theory is considered appropriate for thinking about change processes in the developing world. It presents change as motivated more by the need for legitimacy than efficiency and, in identifying the mechanics of change, points to potential limits of such change: to organizational dimensions that are visible, peripheral and involves concentrated sets of professional agents. These limiting factors are applied to a study of public financial management reform in 31 African countries which shows that some dimensions do appear more limited to isomorphic influence than others. Isomorphic change may indeed face natural limits, something the development community should consider in thinking about how it goes about facilitating and motivating reform in its client countries.
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 InfoPaper provided by Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government in its series Working Paper Series with number rwp09-012.
Date of creation: May 2009
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: 79 JFK Street, Cambridge, MA 02138
Web page: http://www.ksg.harvard.edu/research/working_papers/index.htm
More information through EDIRC
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
You can help add them by filling out this form.
CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
- Andrews, Matt, 2013. "Do International Organizations Really Shape Government Solutions in Developing Countries?," Working Paper Series rwp13-032, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
- Andrews, Matt, 2013. "How Do Governments Get Great?," Working Paper Series rwp13-020, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.