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Durham e-Theses
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Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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Public sector accounting reforms have a vast potential to impact on the developing world (Hopper et al., 2016) but the explication of reform performance is only partial in the neo-classical economics framework. Accounting scholars have called for a deeper understanding of the context and conditions of accounting reforms in the less developing countries and emerging economies (LDCs/EEs) (van Helden and Uddin, 2016; Nyamori et al.,2017; Hopper et al., 2016; Goddard and Mkasiwa, 2016; Manning and McCourt, 2013; Abdul-Rahaman et al., 1997).
This research sets out to understand the context of the public financial management (PFM)reforms using Ghana as an example of LDCs/EEs. The tools embedded in the institutional logics approach (ILA) are mobilised, as a meta-theoretical framework encompassing symbolic interactionism and grounded theory, to offer a constructivist-interpretivist account of the reforms.
This research found that accounting changes through the PFM reforms in Ghana have been challenging to implement, and reforms outcomes have been poor to mediocre. Empirically, this study identified budget credibility as the core category in public sector accounting reforms in Ghana. The reform outcomes are reflected and constituted in the budget logics, such as over-centralization of controls, gaming, and unpredictability of flow of funds to the ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), that have constrained the reforms. This study relates the core category to the other five main empirical categories, namely: accountability, professionalism, and financial re-engineering, automation, and policy credibility) which emerged from the study. Longitudinally, the research found that, dating back to the pre-independence era, only limited improvements have been made in the transformation of the public financial management practices to support economic development in Ghana. Opportunities to decentralize financial controls were not taken the 1980s, and the successive recent reforms have only centralized both the reforms and financial management controls. This research explains why sub-optimal accounting practices endure, the paradox of embeddedness, and constraints and possibilities of collective action to effect accounting change through reforms.
The study examines the dynamics and the interplay of budget credibility and the other categorical elements within the “vampire state”, and the impact of hegemonic influences of the international community on local actors institutionalised in the polities through objectification and exteriorisation of culture.
The implications of the budget credibility are explored further through the development of a substantive theory on the reforms, a processual analysis, and interinstitutional orders comprising national community logics, state logics, and international community logics that shape public sector accounting change in Ghana. This research opens up the possibility of further theoretical and empirical studies in other resource dependent countries where reforms are influenced by external donor development partners.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:PFM reforms, public sector accounting change, budget credibility, international donors, organisational change, institutionalism, institutional logics approach, hegemony, culture, less developing countries (LDCs), developing countries (DCs) and emerging economies (EEs).
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Business > Accounting, Department of
Thesis Date:2020
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:14 Dec 2020 19:02

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