Accounting, budgeting, performance measurement, and financial management systems can play a central role in improving public accountability, governance and management, equipping public managers and policy makers responding to the challenges of financial, social and environmental sustainability. As such, they are often taken for granted, described as neutral, objective and technical responses to the needs of quantification, managerialisation, and better governance in the public sector. However, an increasing body of empirical studies have shown that the adoption and use of performance measurement systems in the public sector have produced unexpected and even undesired effects, and that their positive effects on accountability, decision making and organizational performance cannot be taken for granted. Indeed, accounting and performance measurement are socially, politically, culturally constructed and, in turn, implicated in the construction of public organizations and public value.
The contemporary worlds of public administration research an practice thus need to pay increased attention to the roles and impacts of accounting and performance measurement in the public realm and to the contextual conditions under which they are applied and work. This requires the adoption of an interdisciplinary stance, whereby single disciplines may be ill-suited to appreciate the wider scope of accounting and performance measurement antecedents and effects. Indeed, accounting and performance measurement are naturally at the intersection between disciplines, sectors, professions, interests and powers, as well as the academia and the practical world. They can thus provide an invaluable common ground and language among them, where their reciprocal interactions can be better understood, explained and made sense of. For more details, follow our website* or click here* to continue reading.
The SIG's executive committee members are Enrico Bracci, Adina Dudau, Iris Saliterer, Mariafrancesca Sicilia, Ileana Steccolini. For questions/comments, please contact the convenor, Ileana Steccolini, at firstname.lastname@example.org.