Legitimating change in the public sector: the introduction of (rational?) accounting practices in the United Kingdom, Italy and Austria

Noel Hyndman, Mariannunziata Liguori, Renate E. Meyer, Tobias Polzer, Silvia Rota, Johann Seiwald, Ileana Steccolini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)
175 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

This paper explores the deployment of rhetorical legitimation strategies during public-sector accounting reforms by investigating how organizational actors justify related changes in the central governments of the UK, Italy and Austria. The study shows that changes are largely legitimated (and rarely delegitimated) by key actors, with authorization strategies dominating. Country differences and actors’ professional backgrounds also impact upon the use of legitimation strategies, with those from an accounting background and working in the UK being more likely to justify change in terms of rationalization and normalization. Italian and Austrian actors more frequently resort to authorization strategies to explain accounting change.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1374-1399
Number of pages26
JournalPublic Management Review
Volume20
Issue number9
Early online date12 Oct 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 02 Sep 2018

Keywords

  • legitimation strategies
  • accounting change
  • organizational change
  • central government

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