Hybrids’ Act-Ing for Multiple Values

Laurence Ferry, Giuseppe Grossi, Aziza Laguecir, Basil Tucker

Forskningsoutput: Övriga bidragPeer review

12 Nedladdningar (Pure)


Hybrid governance and organisational forms have been adopted in different parts of the world to provide public services (such as infrastructure, utilities, education, health care, cultural and social services) under the influence of New Public Management (NPM) doctrines and related neoliberal ideologies (Hood 1995). Hybrid organisations are organisational arrangements that use resources, governance structures and logics derived from different sectors (public, private for-profit and non-profit third sector) with divergent aims and actors (Battilana and Lee 2014; Pache and Santos 2013).
The literature has addressed hybrid organisations as generating value pluralism (Alexius and Cisneros Örnberg 2015). Indeed, hybrid organisations involve many different actors who may have divergent and sometimes mutually inconsistent goals, interests and values (Kurunmäki and Miller 2006). In this respect, value pluralism in society may be facilitated by hybrid forms of governance and organisations (Alexius and Cisneros Örnberg 2015; Vakkuri and Johanson 2018; Thornton et al. 2012). Hybrid organisations should be able to accommodate multiple values of public organisations (societal, human and public values), profit organisations (such as financial, commercial viability, efficiency, performance, innovation and growth) and non-profit organisations (such as community, ethical, moral, political and religious values) (Jeavons 1992; Smyth 2017). In our view, hybrid organisations are likely to remain an important instrument in any government’s toolbox for societal and public value creation. Government has a unique role to play as a guarantor of public values, but citizens, as well as businesses, hybrid and non-profit organisations, are also crucial as active public problem solvers (Bryson et al. 2014). Public values are determined by broad and inclusive dialogue and deliberation informed by evidence and democratic values (Moore 1995).
Hybridity exists not only in the range of values espoused and practised by organisations, but also in term of missions, identities, processes, actions, activities, practices, and roles of different actors such as politicians, managers, street-level bureaucrats, professionals, controllers, auditors, and accountants who may be enveloped in various hybrid settings, contexts of government and multi-faceted interfaces between public, private and the non-profit sector (Golyagina and Valuckas 2020). Previous research in hybrid organisations states that the development of accounting tools is complicated because actors may have divergent values and thus interpret the organisational mission differently making hybrid organisations complicated venues for understanding, valuing and disclosing results (Hyndman and McConville 2018; Abdullah et al. 2018), and even identifying the resulting mission drift (Ebrahim et al. 2014).
The multiplicity of values is also seen as an opportunity for performance management development in these settings (Mongelli et al. 2019). However, Mongelli et al. (2019) also underline that when many actors with different values have the possibility of collaborating to define performance measurement, they are able to provide a broad picture of their performance, rather than the point of view of a limited number of actors. The existence of multiple actors and values are, therefore, not only a source of contrast but also may create opportunities for accounting. In our view, values created by hybrid organisations responsible for public programs and services should not be purely evaluated based on financial results (profit and loss account), but more widely on how they contribute to public value creation, taking an integrated, and holistic view of their societal impact (Moore 1995).
Scant attention has been paid by interdisciplinary and critical accounting scholars to the links around how different actors and their individual values affect goals in hybrid organisations and their role in the development of management accounting practices (Grossi et al., 2017) A notable exception is Chenhall et al. (2013), who suggest the concept of dialogic tools to account for how accounting practices can facilitate compromise amongst organisational actors holding different values. Nevertheless, there is still limited research explicitly focusing on the role of the different actors in the design and implementation of accounting and accountability practices in hybrid organisations (Skelcher and Smith 2015; Berry et al. 2009). Therefore future research would likely benefit from studies inside the hybrid organisations (Pache and Santos 2013), seeking more in-depth insights into internal operational and accounting practices (e.g. Ahrens and Chapman 2007; Jørgensen and Messner 2010; Laguecir et al. In press) rather than investigations based ‘from the outside’ or on interpretations based on what is written in different formal documents (Grossi et al. 2020).
With this BAR special issue, we aim to improve the theoretical and practical understanding of the drivers, obstacles, and tensions for value creation and the accounting implications in different hybrid organisations (state owned enterprises, non-profits, universities, schools, temporary organisations, social enterprises, etc.). The aim of this special issue is to explore the role of actors and accounting practices to measure and disclose multiple values created by hybrid organisations, with a particular focus on the societal and public values.
We encourage theoretical, conceptual and empirical submissions from different institutional contexts and by scholars across disciplines. Interesting topics for the papers include but are not limited to the following issues:
• How can we conceptualise, evaluate, and measure the multiples values, and performance of hybrid organisations?
• How do multiples values shape the accounting practices, and reversely, in hybrid organisations?
• How do accounting and accountability practices aim to cope with the multiplicity of values in hybrid organisations? How can governments ensure that societal and public values and value creation are protected?
• How do multiplicity of values shape the accounting and wider operational practices in hybrid organisations?
• How do the accountability and multiplicity of values influence traditional understandings of mission drift in hybrid organisations?
• How do internal actors work to create accounting and accountability practices in hybrid organisations? How is it possible to protect the public interest in a context with multiple values and actors?
• How can external actors (i.e. citizens and other stakeholders) be involved to create dialogic and compromising accounting and accountability practices in hybrid organisations?
• What are the effects of hybridity on value creation and the forms of accounting and accountability practices in hybrid organisations?

We are also open to more critical reflection, historical and empirical pieces, which fit the underlying general theme of this special issue.
A virtual workshop organised by Durham University (UK), in partnership with Nord University (Norway), University of South Australia (Australia) and IESEG School of Management (France), will take place on 7-8 October 2021. Those wishing to present at the workshop should contact Laurence Ferry (laurence.ferry@durham.ac.uk) by 31 March 2021 together with a one-page outline of the paper including theory, method(s) and key findings. Authors of selected papers from the workshop will be invited to submit revised papers for this special issue by December 2021, subject to the normal review processes of the journal. Early expression of interest is encouraged. It is anticipated that this special issue will be published in 2023.
Attendance and/or presentation at the workshop is not a pre-requisite for submission to the special issue. All submissions should be made through the Elsevier Editorial System for the British Accounting Review using http://www.journals.elsevier.com/the-british-accounting-review/

Important Deadlines
• One-page outline of the paper for workshop presentation by 31 March 2021.
• Workshop to be held 7-8 October 2021.
• Submission of full papers to the journal by 31 December 2021.

Guest editors:
Laurence Ferry, Durham University Business School, UK (E-mail: laurence.ferry@durham.ac.uk)
Giuseppe Grossi, Nord University, Norway, Kristianstad University, Sweden
(E-mails: giuseppe.grossi@nord.no; giuseppe.grossi@hkr.se)
Aziza Laguecir, IESEG School of Management, LEM-CNRS 9221, France (E-mail: a.laguecir@ieseg.fr)
Basil Tucker, University of South Australia, Australia (E-mail: Basil.Tucker@unisa.edu.au)

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StatusPublicerad - 2021-feb.


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