Understanding political accountability in a strong structuration framework

Jean Claude Mutiganda, Janne Järvinen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Purpose
Research was conducted to investigate whether, and how, political accountability might stabilise when agents are faced with profound changes in external structures such as competition laws and austerity policies.
Design/methodology/approach
We performed a field study from 2007 to 2015 in a regional hub in Finland and worked with data from document analysis, interviews and meeting observations. We have used embedded research design, where we apply methodological bracketing as well as composite sequence analysis for field research.
Findings
Accountability declined when irresistible external structures were the dominant influence on the unreflective actions of agents-in-focus. With time, however, the agents started acting critically by drawing on structures that could facilitate strategic actions to stabilise political accountability.
Research limitations/implications
The field research and interpretation of the data were limited to the organisation analysed; however, the theoretical arguments allow for analytical generalisations.
Practical implications
The research demonstrates how public officials and political decision-makers can eventually adopt a strategic approach when faced with irresistible change in external structures.
Social implications
The research demonstrates how public officials and political decision-makers can eventually adopt a strategic approach when faced with irresistible changes in external structures.
Originality/value
The study locates political accountability in the context of strong structuration theory and discusses how it is redefined by external structures.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)80-103
JournalAccounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal
Volume34
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Apr 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • Accountability
  • public sector
  • Strong structuration
  • Position-practice

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Understanding political accountability in a strong structuration framework'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this