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AAAJ Special Forum on "Accounting and Accountability changes in Knowledge Intensive Public Organisations":

Special issue call for papers from Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal

Guest editors:

Giuseppe Grossi, Kristianstad University, Sweden, and Kozminski University, Poland.
Kirsi-Mari Kallio, University of Turku, FinlandMassimo Sargiacomo, University G.d’Annunzio of Chieti-Pescara, Italy.
Matti Skoog, Stockholm University, Sweden.

Key words: Accounting, Accountability, Hybrid Organizations, Knowledge-intensive public services

Call for papers

In the quest for productivity, numerous public organizations have adopted some kind of hybrid management and organizational form in their operations, and it has thus become common for knowledge-intensive public services (such as education, health care, and social services) to be produced by organizations operating at the intersection of the market and the public sector. Hybridization in this context refers to those inter-organizational forms, roles, work practices, knowledge- and management systems that operate in the gray area between public and private sectors and have to combine potentially conflicting goals, obligations, and cultural orientations related to different institutional logics (public, private, and third sector).

As an instrument of innovation, hybrid governance models (e.g., purchaser-provider models, contracting out, outsourcing, corporatization, public and private partnerships, etc.) bring about both new challenges and solutions for accounting and accountability issues of knowledge-intensive public organizations (Almqvist et al., 2013; Billis, 2010; Nowotny et al., 2001). In addition, traditional publicly offered/owned services, such as education, health care, transports, and social services, albeit by public ownership, are forced to act in a businesslike manner, which especially addresses problems in accounting and accountability (e.g., Neumann, & Guthrie, 2002; Parker, 2011; Habersam et al., 2013; Kallio & Kallio, 2014).

Accordingly, we encourage submissions based on empirical, case studies and different jurisdictions from scholars across disciplines which include but are not limited to the following issues:

• Which accounting and accountability challenges are determined by the combination of private and public management cultures in hybrid knowledge-intensive public organizations (e.g. the “leaking” of public money, unfair competition, problems around equal access, public value and accountability)?
• How do accounting and accountability systems aim to cope with problems of coordination, management, and evaluation in hybrid forms of knowledge-intensive public organizations?
• How do knowledge-intensive public organizations use their accounting and accountability models?
• What are the effects of hybridity on the forms of control and accountability in knowledge-intensive public organizations?
• How can we build a theory of accounting and accountability for hybrid organizations?
• How can empirical studies of hybridization of knowledge-intensive public organizations contribute to accounting and accountability theories?
• How does hybridization challenge the role of professionals in knowledge-intensive organizations (e.g. in hospitals, schools and universities)?

Special Forum Workshop


To help authors prepare their manuscripts for submission, a Special Forum Workshop will be held on 15 and 16 May 2017 at Kozminski University (Warsaw, Poland). At the Workshop, papers are presented and discussed before final submission. Please be aware that presentation at the Workshop does not guarantee acceptance of the paper for publication in Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal. Next, participating in the Workshop is not a precondition for submitting a manuscript to the Special Forum.
If you are interested in participating in the Special Forum Workshop, please email your paper to [email protected] and [email protected] before 31 March 2017.


Submission Instructions

ScholarOne submissions will open at the beginning of 2017.
Key dates: Full paper submission:1st September 2017

Contact details: For inquiries and further information please contact Giuseppe Grossi ([email protected]) or Matti Skoog ([email protected])


Almquist, R., Grossi, G., van Helden, G.J. and Reichard, C. (2013), "Public sector governance and accountability", Critical Perspectives on Accounting, Vol. 24 No. 7-8, pp. 479-487.
Billis D. (2010) Towards a theory of hybrid organizations. In: Billis D. (ed.) Hybrid Organizations and the Third Sector: Challenges for Practice, Theory and Policy. New
York: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 46–69.
Habersam, M., Piber, M. & Skoog, M. (2013). Knowledge balance sheets in Austrian universities: the implementation, use, and re-shaping of measurement and management practices. Critical Perspectives on Accounting, 24 (4–5), s. 319–337
Kallio, K.-M. & Kallio, T.J. (2014) Management-by-results and performance measurement in universities – Implications for work motivation. Studies in Higher Education, Vol. 39, No. 4, pp. 574–589.
Guthrie, J. (2002), “The corporatisation of research in Australian higher education”, Critical Perspectives on Accounting, Vol. 13, pp. 721-41
Nowotny, H., Scott, P. and Gibbons, M. (2001) Re-thinking science. Knowledge and the public in an age of uncertainty. Cambridge: Polity Press.
Parker, L. (2011), “University corporatization: driving redefinition”, Critical Perspectives on Accounting, Vol. 22, pp. 434-450