Document Type

Conference publication

Publication details

Christensen, M, Newberry, S & Potter, BN 2010, 'The role of global epistemic communities in enabling accounting change creating a more business like public sector', Accounting and the state: proceedings of the 6th Accounting History International Conference, Wellington, New Zealand, 18-20 August, Victoria University of Wellington , Wellington, New Zealand.


This paper explores the role of a small but influential epistemic community in enabling global accounting change for public sector entities. We show how, during a period in which government administrations globally were criticised on a number of fronts, this community problematised public sector accounting and management practices, creating a perceived need for a more ‘business-like’ public sector underpinned by ‘better accounting’. We also show how the community was also able to diffuse these ideas globally. In doing so, our study sheds light on how epistemic communities can shape the regulatory agenda by identifying and articulating the nature of the “problem” and by engineering and diffusing the appropriate solution.

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