Accounting change in the Scottish and Westminster central governments: a study of voice and legitimation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Organisational voice processes are crucial during change. These will affect actors’ individual understanding of change and the way in which change is perceived and legitimated generally. Looking at accounting changes at two government levels (Westminster and Scotland), this paper explores relationships between organisational voice processes during change (exploring these in terms of horizontal/vertical and promotive/prohibitive dimensions) and legitimation strategies subsequently used by the actors involved. In Westminster, where promotive vertical voicing was particularly identifiable, interviewees predominantly legitimated change through rationalisation strategies. In Scotland, where prohibitive, horizontal voice processes were more evident, authorisation strategies tended to prevail. However, regardless of the content and direction of voice, ultimately, the vast majority of key accounting changes in both Westminster and Scotland were supported (legitimated) by actors.

LanguageEnglish
Pages390-412
Number of pages23
JournalFinancial Accountability & Management
Volume35
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Oct 2019

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Legitimation
Accounting change
Central government
Scotland
Rationalization
Process change
Authorization
Government

Keywords

  • accounting change, voice, legitimation, central government, managerialism

Cite this

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abstract = "Organisational voice processes are crucial during change. These will affect actors’ individual understanding of change and the way in which change is perceived and legitimated generally. Looking at accounting changes at two government levels (Westminster and Scotland), this paper explores relationships between organisational voice processes during change (exploring these in terms of horizontal/vertical and promotive/prohibitive dimensions) and legitimation strategies subsequently used by the actors involved. In Westminster, where promotive vertical voicing was particularly identifiable, interviewees predominantly legitimated change through rationalisation strategies. In Scotland, where prohibitive, horizontal voice processes were more evident, authorisation strategies tended to prevail. However, regardless of the content and direction of voice, ultimately, the vast majority of key accounting changes in both Westminster and Scotland were supported (legitimated) by actors.",
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