Situated rationalities and management control change - an empirical note on key actors, situated rationalities and generalised practices

Julie Bertz, Martin Quinn

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Abstract

Purpose
This paper aims to offer an incremental contribution, augmenting the notion of situated rationality as proposed by terBogt and Scapens (2019). Through insights from empirical data, the authors explore the role of situated rationalities of key individual actors in processes of management control change.
Design/methodology/approach
A qualitative research approach was adopted with qualitative data collected in a single public service organisation through face-to-face interviews, organisation documentation and observations.

Findings
The findings present the important role of key individual actors in bringing about a new situated rationality in a housing department. External austerity forces combined with actors’ experience rationalities acted as a stimulus to change existing management control practices in the management of public services.

Originality/value
The paper conceptualises “experience” rationality, capturing the experiences of a key actor, including elements of leadership style. Drawing on a story of a complex process of management control change, this paper thus reveals interactions between generalised practices and situated rationalities which were not highlighted by the extended framework of terBogt and Scapens.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-100
JournalQualitative Research in Accounting & Management
Volume19
Issue number1
Early online date10 Dec 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Feb 2022

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