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Inter-Organizational Accountability and Budget Cut-Backs


  • Enrico Bracci


Accountability arrangements in networks present special concerns because of the potential for accountability to get "lost in the cracks of horizontal and hybrid governance" (Romzek et al 2012:443). Networks involve numerous cooperating agencies and/or subcontractors with different goals, organizational agendas (Romzek et al 2012). The aim of the present paper is to investigate, through an exploratory case study, how accountability is shaped in a network of public and private actors and the set of means and processes adopted, in a period of budget cut-backs due to the financial constraints in the public sector. The paper, drawing from the accountability literature (Romzek and Dubnick, 1987; Romzek et al., 2012), presents the result of a field study in a social services network in Italy. Data are based on document analysis, interviews with key institutional actors and participation in budgetary negotiation meeting in the network.

Suggested Citation

  • Enrico Bracci, 2013. "Inter-Organizational Accountability and Budget Cut-Backs," Working Papers 2013152, University of Ferrara, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:udf:wpaper:2013152

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bracci, Enrico, 2009. "Autonomy, responsibility and accountability in the Italian school system," CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES ON ACCOUNTING, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 293-312.
    2. Kreps, David M. & Wilson, Robert, 1982. "Reputation and imperfect information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 253-279, August.
    3. Roberts, John, 2009. "No one is perfect: The limits of transparency and an ethic for 'intelligent' accountability," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 34(8), pages 957-970, November.
    4. Helen Irvine & Michael Gaffikin, 2006. "Getting in, getting on and getting out: reflections on a qualitative research project," Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 19(1), pages 115-145, January.
    5. Enrico Bracci & Sue Llewellyn, 2012. "Accounting and accountability in an Italian social care provider: Contrasting people-changing with people-processing approaches," Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 25(5), pages 806-834, June.
    6. Ezzamel, Mahmoud & Bourn, Michael, 1990. "The roles of accounting information systems in an organization experiencing financial crisis," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 15(5), pages 399-424.
    7. Thomas Schillemans, 2008. "Accountability in the Shadow of Hierarchy: The Horizontal Accountability of Agencies," Public Organization Review, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 175-194, June.
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    More about this item


    austerity; accountability; social care; network;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • M48 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Accounting - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • M21 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Economics - - - Business Economics


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