Boundary spanners and calculative practices

Guven-Uslu, Pinar ORCID:, Blaber, Zlatinka and Adhikari, Pawan (2020) Boundary spanners and calculative practices. Financial Accountability and Management, 36 (4). pp. 439-460. ISSN 0267-4424

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This paper questions to what extent particular calculative practices used for inter-organisational decision-making help or hinder boundary spanners meet performativity ideals. It uses programmatic rationalities of government as a framework to study reciprocity between them and the conditions of performativity. Empirical data were collected from healthcare commissioning spaces of English National Health Service (NHS). Data triangulation was achieved through documentary analysis, data collected through interviews, and observation notes taken in local commissioning meetings and national conferences. Findings revealed an apparent lack of reciprocity between programmatic rationality and calculative practices surrounding the commissioning activities of boundary spanners. As a consequence, in local commissioning situations boundary spanners with formal roles used calculative practices differently than semi-formal boundary spanners. Unlike their formal counterparts, who used mainly accounting information in their calculative practices, semi-formal boundary spanners incorporated non-accounting information and devised alternative calculative practices. In addition, while formal boundary spanners on NHS Committees used calculative practices in maintaining clear boundaries between commissioning and provider organisations, semi-formal boundary spanners made use of the data of both parties in order to reach inter organisational decisions. The study has three main contributions. First, it differentiates boundary spanners and explains differences in their interaction with calculative practices. Second, it introduces the concept of reciprocity to inter-organisational studies in accounting. Third, it shows how conditions of performativity reflected in micro-settings influenced how semi-formal boundary spanners used calculative practices (and other supplementary information) to achieve performance ideals of government programmes.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Special Issue: The Shaping of Public Services Through Calculative Practices: The Roles of Accountants, Citizens, Professionals and Politicians
Uncontrolled Keywords: boundary spanners,calculative practices,commissioning,decision-making,healthcare,inter-organisational,business, management and accounting(all),economics, econometrics and finance(all) ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/1400
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > Norwich Business School
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Groups > Accounting & Quantitative Methods
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Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 21 Jul 2020 01:37
Last Modified: 22 Oct 2022 06:31
DOI: 10.1111/faam.12266


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