Explaining governance failure: accountability spaces in-between and bias
International Journal of Critical Accounting (IJCA)
The paper is based on a 2-year participant observer case study of the governance failures in a UK housing association that experienced significant adverse performance resulting in its near collapse. The research is concerned with the accountability of and by the organization’s board, with a view to studying the black box that is the boardroom. The study builds on research by Roberts (1991) who distinguishes between formal and informal forms of accountability, and Collier (2005) who identifies spaces in-between where governance can be lost. Kamuf’s (2007) concept of accounterability forms a focal point of the discussion to enable an understanding of governance that accommodates formal and socialising systems of accountability. The literature on behavioural aspects of governance issues is drawn upon to explore causes for a board’s reluctance to explore critical governance issues (Marnet, 2008). As informal reporting systems are increasingly important drivers of the control role of boards (Parker, 2008), the paper highlights the need to explore dysfunctions of accountability to advance the governance of organizations.
Post-print draft. Published by Inderscience; available online at http://www.inderscience.com/