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The Adoption Of Accrual Accounting In Flemish Public Centres For Social Welfare: Examining The Importance Of Agents Of Change

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  • P. WINDELS

    ()

  • J. CHRISTIAENS

    ()

Abstract

This study examines the importance of different agents of change in the adoption of public sector accrual accounting. For this purpose, an accounting index is used and applied on a large sample of Flemish local governments to analyse the level of adoption of the altered accounting requirements. The impact of a number of prominent agents is empirically tested on the level of adoption in a cross-sectional way. The study draws on institutional theory to build a framework for analysis and uses additional interviews to interpret the findings. The research shows that the de facto implementation of the new accounting requirements is limited and strongly influenced by local management’s interest and the involvement of professional consultants. In the absence of a sound guidance and monitoring process, the skilful action of dedicated agents of change has become important to implement some far-reaching changes in the organisations’ accounting system.

Suggested Citation

  • P. Windels & J. Christiaens, 2007. "The Adoption Of Accrual Accounting In Flemish Public Centres For Social Welfare: Examining The Importance Of Agents Of Change," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 07/451, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
  • Handle: RePEc:rug:rugwps:07/451
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    File URL: http://wps-feb.ugent.be/Papers/wp_07_451.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Giroux, Gary & McLelland, Andrew J., 2003. "Governance structures and accounting at large municipalities," Journal of Accounting and Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 203-230.
    2. Fligstein, Neil, 2001. "Social Skill and the Theory of Fields," Center for Culture, Organizations and Politics, Working Paper Series qt26m187b1, Center for Culture, Organizations and Politics of theInstitute for Research on Labor and Employment, UC Berkeley.
    3. Haas, Peter M., 1992. "Introduction: epistemic communities and international policy coordination," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 46(01), pages 1-35, December.
    4. 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.
    5. repec:bla:joares:v:22:y:1984:i:1:p:126-144 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Irvine Lapsley & Rosie Oldfield, 2001. "Transforming the public sector: management consultants as agents of change," European Accounting Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(3), pages 523-543.
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    Cited by:

    1. Deaconu, Adela & Nistor, Cristina Silvia & Filip, Crina, 2009. "Legitimacy to develop fair value measurement standards: The Case of the IVSC Discussion Paper – Determination of fair value of intangible assets for IFRS reporting purposes," MPRA Paper 16850, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2009.

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