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The role of accounting in transforming public tertiary institutions in New Zealand

Narayan, A and Stittle, J (2018) 'The role of accounting in transforming public tertiary institutions in New Zealand.' Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, 31 (2). pp. 503-530. ISSN 0951-3574

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Purpose - This paper evaluates the role and influence played by the discipline of accounting through its association with the multiple logics of government reforms to transform the public tertiary education sector in New Zealand. Design/methodology/approach - The study adopts a case study approach utilising multiple data collection methods. Neo-institutional theory (NIT) provides an insightful and valuable complement to neo-liberalism and enhances our understanding of institutional logics driving government reforms and the transformation of public tertiary institutions. Findings - The findings reveal that accounting has become a powerful conduit for the exercise of the neo-liberalism reforms by government and implemented by managerial control over public tertiary education institutions. Research implications ? By addressing a gap in the literature the paper shows how political and economic neo-liberal policies have been implemented in tertiary education with the discipline of accounting being adopted as a prime driver of these reforms. The paper has significant implications for educational management, academics and learners in understanding how and why the inherent nature, objectives and processes of the overall educational experience has undergone a radical reformation. Originality/value - New Zealand is one of the first countries to implement these educational reforms and adopted ?accounting technologies? to reduce costs and improve performance. But the reality has often been very different. Most of the government?s original objectives have not been fulfilled and the reforms have been costly for the academic profession. This paper provides a valuable source of learning for academics, managers and politicians.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: government; markets; neo-liberalism; public tertiary education
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5601 Accounting
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > Essex Business School
Faculty of Social Sciences > Essex Business School > Essex Accounting Centre
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 22 Mar 2017 11:21
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2022 13:30

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