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

  • P. WINDELS

    ()

  • J. CHRISTIAENS

    ()

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.

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File URL: http://wps-feb.ugent.be/Papers/wp_07_451.pdf
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Paper provided by Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration in its series Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium with number 07/451.

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Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rug:rugwps:07/451
Contact details of provider: Postal: Hoveniersberg 4, B-9000 Gent
Phone: ++ 32 (0) 9 264 34 61
Fax: ++ 32 (0) 9 264 35 92
Web page: http://www.ugent.be/eb

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Haas, Peter M., 1992. "Introduction: epistemic communities and international policy coordination," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 46(01), pages 1-35, December.
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