The Recursive Interaction Of Structure And Action In Public Accountability In Ghana

ABSTRACT Public organizations in Africa continue to experience public accountability challenges despite introducing organizational controls intended to serve as public accountability mechanisms. Studies on public accountability challenges have explored, separately, the influence of public accountability mechanisms and socio-cultural expectations on bureaucrats’ decisions, but few have explored their joint influence on bureaucrats’ decisions. The objective of the study was to understand how bureaucrats in Ghanaian public organizations respond to the tension between formal organizational controls and informal sociocultural expectations, especially in exercising personal judgement or discretion, and unearth a theory that could deepen understanding of persistent accountability challenges in public organizations in Ghana. Grounded theory methodology was used. The study adopted the logic of appropriateness as a conceptual framework within which to examine values and expectations as a component of structure. Findings revealed that directors respond to the tension by informally integrating sociocultural expectations into their public decisions. Findings suggested Giddens (1984)’s Structuration Theory as the theory at play in the persistent accountability challenges in public organizations in Ghana, in that when public accountability mechanisms are introduced into a country without reconciling them with existing societal values and mechanisms, the society develops conflicted expectations. The more public officials find ways to meet those conflicted expectations, the more the society expects them to do so. This creates a recursive cycle between society’s expectations and public officials’ actions. Strengthening of PAMs if not reconciled with societal values, maintains the cycle. It is recommended that policy makers engage the Ghanaian society in a series of dialogues towards the reconciliation of public accountability values and socio-cultural values about accountability. 

Subscribe to access this work and thousands more
Overall Rating

0

5 Star
(0)
4 Star
(0)
3 Star
(0)
2 Star
(0)
1 Star
(0)
APA

Africa, P. & SEY, E (2021). The Recursive Interaction Of Structure And Action In Public Accountability In Ghana. Afribary. Retrieved from https://afribary.com/works/the-recursive-interaction-of-structure-and-action-in-public-accountability-in-ghana

MLA 8th

Africa, PSN, and ESI SEY "The Recursive Interaction Of Structure And Action In Public Accountability In Ghana" Afribary. Afribary, 08 Apr. 2021, https://afribary.com/works/the-recursive-interaction-of-structure-and-action-in-public-accountability-in-ghana. Accessed 18 Jul. 2024.

MLA7

Africa, PSN, and ESI SEY . "The Recursive Interaction Of Structure And Action In Public Accountability In Ghana". Afribary, Afribary, 08 Apr. 2021. Web. 18 Jul. 2024. < https://afribary.com/works/the-recursive-interaction-of-structure-and-action-in-public-accountability-in-ghana >.

Chicago

Africa, PSN and SEY, ESI . "The Recursive Interaction Of Structure And Action In Public Accountability In Ghana" Afribary (2021). Accessed July 18, 2024. https://afribary.com/works/the-recursive-interaction-of-structure-and-action-in-public-accountability-in-ghana