Emergent Accountability and Structuration Theory: The Implications
PUBLIC ACCOUNTABILITY AND ITS PROMISES, George Frederickson and Melvin Dubnick, eds., M. E. Sharpe, Forthcoming
27 Pages Posted: 6 Feb 2010
Date Written: February 6, 2010
Accountability is a fundamentally important but considerably ambiguous and murky concept. Despite its elusive meaning, organizations - governmental or nongovernmental - are constantly called to be more accountable. But what does this accountability expectation exactly mean? How can managers effectively deal with the cross pressure of accountabilities? This essay starts from the belief that we should depart from dichotomist logics and embrace non-dichotomist ones: accountability as both means and ends, with both positive and negative consequences, and being both enabling and constraining. The competing notions may at least enter into some degree of dialogue. Acknowledging that any such attempt to integrate competing ideas is likely to be limited and controversial, this chapter applies Anthony Giddens’ structuration theory and sheds light on the conceptual questions raised above.
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