IRSPM Conference 2015

30 March – 01 April 2015, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK


At the IRSPM Conference 2015, our Special Interest Group organized two panels designed to capture both sides of the coin accounting/performance measurement and acknowledge the nuances in the respective challenges for research.

Panel G.101 – ‘Public accounting and accountability: obfuscation or transparency?’

Chaired by Penelope Tuck, University of Birmingham UK, Eugenio Anessi Pessina, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore Italy, and Ileana SteccoliniBocconi University Italy, this Panel focused on the actual and potential role of accounting in supporting (or disrupting) public governance and management, including:

  • the scope, significance, and determinants of earnings management and accounting discretion in the public sector and their implication on public-sector systems, organizations, politicians, and managers;
  • the roles of accounting in politics and policy making; accounting as a way of providing decision-makers and accountees with the information they need or rather to impose or legitimize political decisions;
  • the role of accounting in increasing or reducing transparency;
  • the actual and potential role of accounting in fighting corruption or covering it up;
  • the role, features, and impact of mandatory external auditing;
  • the role, features, and impact of accruals accounting and its public-sector “mutations”, of IPSAS’s and EPSAS’s;
  • the integration and links between financial and non-financial information;
  • the roles and influence of accounting professional bodies in the public sector context.

Panel G.102 – ‘Performance measurement of the hybrid government in the Age of Austerity’

Giuseppe Grossi, Kristianstad University Sweden, Jarmo Vakkuri, University of Tampere Finland, and Jan-Erik Johanson, University of Tampere Finland, chaired the second SIG panel that addressed the following questions:

  • How are austerity policies associated with the design and use of performance management systems in the public sector? Moreover, does the austerity regime provide new rationales for hybrid models of government? What are those?
  • What are the implications of different institutional (central, provincial and local government) contexts for the development of performance management systems?
  • How do countries follow the impacts of austerity policies, how do they adapt performance management systems to the need they perceive?
  • How do performance management systems aim to cope with problems of coordination, management and evaluation in hybrid forms of public service provision? How the hybrid organizations define their performance measurement systems?
  • What kind of uses of performance information do we see in managing public and private sector interface? Functional, dysfunctional?