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INSTITUTIONAL RESEARCH ON PERFORMANCE MEASUREMENT AND MANAGEMENT IN THE PUBLIC SECTOR ACCOUNTING LITERATURE: A REVIEW AND ASSESSMENT

Authors

  • Sven Modell

    1. The Herbert Simon Institute, Manchester Business School, The University of Manchester and Stockholm University School of Business
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      The author is from The Herbert Simon Institute, Manchester Business School, The University of Manchester and Stockholm University School of Business. The research was partly funded by the Swedish Research Council and was inspired by the author's plenary address at the 5th International Conference on Accounting, Auditing and Management in Public Sector Reforms, Amsterdam, 2008. He is grateful to Sven Siverbo and Peter Skærbæk  for constructive criticisms on an earlier version of the manuscript.


Address for correspondence: Sven Modell, Manchester Business School, University of Manchester, Crawford House, Booth Street West, Manchester M15 6PB, UK.
e-mail: Sven.Modell@mbs.ac.uk

Abstract

This paper reviews the evolution of institutional research on performance measurement and management (PMM) in the public sector accounting literature. An assessment of the progress of this research programme is offered in light of some key developments in the broader neo-institutional sociology (NIS) literature, such as the growing recognition of the role of embedded agency, the need to bridge institutional and rational choice explanations of action and the extension of empirical research across different levels of institutional fields. Some progress has been made in this respect and has contributed to shift the emphasis from a one-sided focus on institutional effects on PMM, treating institutional pressures as largely exogenous, to recognize its more intricate roles as an outcome of, as well as a medium for, change. However, further research is required into the micro dynamics involved in transforming and reproducing PMM practices at different levels of analysis and how such practices become infused with meanings conditioned by higher-order institutional logics across various levels of institutional fields. Some research strategies for addressing these issues are outlined.

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