Cost Management Change in Public Utilities: An Institutionalist Perspective

Alsaid, Loai (2015). Cost Management Change in Public Utilities: An Institutionalist Perspective. LAP LAMBERT Academic Publishing.



The book provides an empirical case study as to how the macro political dynamics lead to the micro cost management changes in the public organisations. It draws on Dillard et al.'s (2004) version of institutional theory. Empirical data come from three months' ethnographic fieldwork in an Egyptian electricity and energy (E&E) company, MEEDCO, triangulated with various secondary sources of data on macro political dynamics. The book highlights the necessity of seeing cost management change, especially in the politically sensitive public utilities in less developed countries, as an institutional political change that brings together the wider political objectives of the state and the narrower economic objectives of the firms. Cost management is political and operates as an instrument of neoliberal reform. In an empirical sense, this means that E&E production and distribution in Egypt has been, historically, managed at three distinct but interrelated levels: the political level, the field level and the organisational level. Hence, a set of apparently non-political management accounting technologies, especially ERP and performance-based budgeting, became a set of political tools.

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