Session Chairs: Aldo Pavan and Riccardo Mussari
As part of the globalization process that characterizes the world economy, more and more we face competition amongst countries rather than businesses. Thus, no country can tolerate that particular sectors are inefficient. Often public Administrations (PAs) have been charged to be an obstacle to innovation and sustainable development processes. Despite the many reform processes regarding the institutional order, the administrative apparatus, the accounting and control systems, this belief continues to be widespread and, in part, supported by empirical evidence.
The reform process in Italy does not seem to have reached a satisfactory status. The overall consistency of the institutional public order is weak: we can observe a parliamentary form at the state level and a presidential one at the regional and municipal ones, a constitutional reform was approved and submitted to a referendum, the shift to a federal form of the state seems to have been abandoned, the electoral methods are frequently questioned and changed. The accounting information is not always consistent and reliable; the accounting models continue to be cash and obligation based, out of line with those prevailing in the other countries with developed economies. There is a need for the rationalization and standardization of the information systems, as tools for better transparency and accountability. Corruption is an issue often dealt with in debates and faced with laws and regulations.
The weakness of the reference theories (New Public Management) that inspired the implemented change is probably one of the causes of the unsatisfactory results. Starting from this premise, frequently mentioned in the literature, this call aims at a renewed theoretical effort on the public Administrations to be made by the scholars of the business disciplines.
The public sector scenario is complex. The mechanisms that govern the causal relationships between public intervention supply and demand are increasingly inextricable. The forecasting activity is very difficult, so that very often actions are not timely and adequate, compared to expectations. Public plans are rapidly contradicted by the rapid change of domestic and international community needs. There is a strong correlation between the setting dynamic e the need for a sound theory, logically constructed and empirically tested. The public Administrations are strongly affected by the political, social and economic environment in which they operate; at the same time they have to concur in shaping this environment for at least two reasons:
- Public outputs, especially when referring to pure public goods, help to define the structural characteristics and values of the social and economic context (e.g. education, public order, justice, infrastructure, transportation, social welfare, health care, etc.);
- PAs operate in a physical space (their jurisdictional area) in respect to the citizenry, whose interests they represent and protect.
Very often, public programs and policies involve making activities in different territories, or in the same one, but by PAs from various governmental levels; the actual satisfaction of needs comes consequently through the active participation of different organizations. It is necessary to oversee the comprehensive public governance and to exercise the institutional and political leadership in order to encourage the participation of citizens in the decision-making processes.
The business tools (organizational variables, control and accounting systems, etc.) have both to ensure public finance equilibrium and to pursue the cost-effectiveness of every public organization. To this end, it is necessary to investigate the relationships within PAs and among PAs and private organizations (business enterprises or not for profit) which as a whole make up the networks for the implementation of public policies and the production of public goods.
Session 5 of the AIDEA 2017 Conference aims to attract papers that try to help the explanation activity about public Administrations and private organizations connected to the public policy implementation.
Both the internal and environmental perspectives are welcomed. The admitted methodologies are mostly empirical, qualitative or quantitative. Theoretical studies will be accepted if characterized by general innovativeness, relevance and solidity of the premises, strong logical drawing, originality of conclusions. Descriptive papers have to be functional to empirical or speculative research and be related to phenomena totally new and relevant to the scientific community.
The following tracks are planned.
- Public Governance.
- Management and organizational innovation in public Administrations
- International and domestic accounting harmonization
- Corruption and internal control systems
- Creating public value and performance measurement
- Public-Private Partnerships and Co-production
- Health care and personal services
- Non-profit organizations and social enterprises
The conference best papers will be reviewed in the following journals with which arrangements are underway to define a fast-track path: Azienda Pubblica, Mecosan, Journal of management and governance, Rivista Italiana di Ragioneria e di Economia Aziendale (Italian Accounting Review), Management Control.