Experiencing institutionalization: the development of new budgets in the UK devolved bodies
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.
Volume (Year): 20 (2007)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
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