Programmes of Government, Technologies of Government, Hospital, Ireland, Public Sector, Accounting
Accounting is an accepted component of both private and public sector organisational control systems. Yet in many cases public sector accounting methods and reporting have not responded to the increasingly complex and changing organisational structures that have come about as a result of increased calls for accountability and transparency. In private sector organisations, the accounting function has adapted to the new competitive environment that requires on-going improvement in the design and manufacturing of products. The challenge for public sector organisations is to respond appropriately to new organisational control systems with new performance measurement systems based on a combination of accounting and non-accounting data. This paper describes one hospitals response to increased organisational demands for innovative performance related information to match new organisational structures. It uses the framework of Governmentality: Programmes of Government and Technologies of Government to frame the case (Hacking 1983; Miller and Rose 1990, 1992; Foucalt, 1991). Programmes of government require intervention to enable implementation of government policies. Technologies of government include an array of management accounting tools and techniques. This paper connects with previous research on how institutional conditions influence the adoption of new accounting methods. The study is longitudinal in nature covering a period of eight years. The study commenced during a period of financial largesse and was completed in a time of economic stringency. These environmental variables have impacted on the findings.