انتشار نوآوری های حسابداری مدیریت در بخش دولتی: دستور کار پژوهشی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|8259||2004||20 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||9510 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Management Accounting Research, Volume 15, Issue 3, September 2004, Pages 355–374
There have been numerous studies of the transformation of the public sector. This paper has a different focus: the dissemination and adoption of management accounting practices within the new public sector. The aim of the paper is explore the manner and means of diffusion, the obstacles to adoption and to establish a research agenda. The paper discusses findings of a survey on diffusion sent to public sector financial managers. The results of the survey indicate, inter alia, that adoption of accounting innovations by public sector organisations is largely affected by government influence. This study has interesting findings, but also points to the need for a new research agenda on the diffusion of management accounting practices in the public sector.
In recent years, reform of the public sector has been a major focus of policy makers and accounting techniques and policies have played a central role in initiatives for change. Given the frequency with which new management accounting ideas have been advocated as a result, the way in which accounting innovations diffuse through organisations (or not) is of particular interest to researchers, policy makers and practitioners. This paper extends prior research by focussing on the manner and means of diffusion and by eliciting the views of key actors in the diffusion process. The study is based upon a survey of practising accountants in the public sector. The results are examined from a communications perspective, whereby diffusion is regarded as the exchange of information through formal and informal processes by accounting professionals and institutions. This study has interesting findings, but also points to the need for a new research agenda on the diffusion of management accounting practices in the public sector. The structure of the paper is as follows; Section 1 outlines the conceptual basis for diffusion theory. Section 2 explains the research method and rationale behind the study, whilst Section 3 summarises the results obtained. This is followed by Section 4, which discusses the results and suggests further research areas. The final part of the paper concludes on the research findings and a proposed research agenda.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The aim of this study was to provide a general overview of the diffusion of accounting innovations in the public sector, with a view to establishing a research agenda. The article started with a consideration of previous literature and described some theories on diffusion that have been applied, with positive results, to private sector enterprises. Midgley et al. (1992) emphasised the importance of networks and the effect it had on the diffusion process. Bjørnenak (1997) found that while a demand for an innovation resulted in adoption of a product by some organisations, adoption was more likely if suppliers promoted an innovation. Bjørnenak also distinguished between types of diffusion: a contagious or hierarchical path, or through skilled workers moving about firms. Malmi (1999) utilised Abrahamson’s (1991) framework to explain ABC diffusion in Finnish firms and Perera et al. (2003) developed Gallivan’s (2001) two-stage adoption theory and used Rogers’ analysis (1983, 1995) to explain the diffusion of transfer pricing in an Australian organisation. The results of this survey indicate that accounting innovations have mainly originated in the private sector and adoption of these innovations by public sector organisations is largely attributable to government influence. The diffusion of technical knowledge is generally through traditional sources such as professional membership and publications. Monitoring and abandoning accounting techniques are not carried out to any significant degree and non-financial managers have a mixed involvement with the development of accounting techniques. The choice for public sector research on diffusion then is whether to apply existing theories as done in private sector study, or to develop new frameworks for particular state-owned circumstances. Although the previous studies explored in this paper were able to clarify parts of the diffusion process in the current survey, none of them were able to provide a full explanation for the results. A number of organisations deviated from the generalisations laid out above, reflecting the huge diversity of workplaces in the public sector and therefore, there were few clear patterns in the results. Certainly, the networking literature touched upon had less application here than originally predicted. Only 9% of respondents suggested that informal networking was a way of gaining technical knowledge and there is little scope in way of the results to test how the network structure impacts upon diffusion (Midgley et al., 1992). Despite this, the influence of the networking processes would merit further observation, as a more focussed approach may bring network influences to light. This could be investigated by more in-depth longitudinal field studies. Furthermore, the process by which the government determines which accounting practices are to be recommended for adoption merits serious investigation as part of the diffusion process. In a similar vein to Bjørnenak’s findings (1997), the supply of government recommendations to the public sector held explanatory power regarding adoption of new accounting innovations, though his tests for factors affecting adoption, such as competition and product diversity, did not find application in this study. Bjørnenak’s diffusion types, like hierarchical diffusion, can be observed by the information from government trickling down to the individual organisational level. Contagious diffusion could occur through CIPFA and other professional associations. The diffusion of an innovation via skilled workers moving from private sector enterprise to public administration was outside the scope of our study, but would also be a potential research area. Moving onto Abrahamson’s conceptual matrix, the results indicate that it can explain some of the reasons behind adoption in the survey. KPIs could be explained through forced selection, in that the adopters had to apply the technique due to statutory requirements, regardless of the costs and benefits to their organisation. In addition, the fashion perspective goes some way in explaining the use of ABC, being a recommended technique by government and by other external sources. Nonetheless, ABC can also be explained under efficient choice, helping the departments to cost more effectively in a time when it is necessary to tightly control expenditure. It is likely that the occasional use of techniques such as target costing or functional analysis can also be explained using the matrix. However, the explanatory power of the matrix has its limits, as the perspectives are mutually exclusive. Transitions between perspectives are not built into the model, so that while the introduction of KPIs may be explained through forced selection, this does not explain internal creation of additional performance indicators. A second drawback is the lack of political variables embodied in the framework. Many decisions in the public sector are politically motivated and this element cannot be disregarded in the conceptual analyses. Some alteration to the matrix, therefore, would be required for future research. Gallivan’s (2001) exposition of diffusion as a two-stage adoption process, applied by Perera et al. (2003) is useful in explaining the difference between adoption of an accounting technique by government and the acceptance of the technique by the public sector accountants. It allows a time lag to exist between the two and therefore may explain the difference in attitudes between local authority accountants in adopting KPIs. If the presumption was extended to include a third-stage adoption, i.e. when everyone outside finance accepted the innovations, more explanation may be found. A third-stage could explain the difference in the involvement and attitudes of some non-financial managers towards the development of accounting techniques. However, the staggered adoption process does not explain diffusion outside of an individual organisation and thus must be used in conjunction with other frameworks. Overall, the private sector literature did contribute to understanding the diffusion of management innovations in the public sector, and its explanatory power is set to continue, given the trend towards private sector management techniques and values developing in the public sector. However, none of the previous studies were able to provide a full explanation of the diffusion of management accounting innovations in the public sector. The distinctive nature of the present study in looking at the monitoring and abandonment of techniques, for instance, produced interesting results and encouraged consideration of the legitimating function of accounting. It serves to highlight that the changes in management accounting practice may not find complete explanation through diffusion theory alone. Other perspectives, such as legitimation studies (see, for example, Kurunmäki et al., 2003) may enhance explanations of the diffusion process greatly. New theoretical developments in innovation in the public sector are therefore desirable.