How Political Change in Egypt Affected Public Utilities Cost Management Politics

Alsaid, Loai and Alawattage, Chandana (2015). How Political Change in Egypt Affected Public Utilities Cost Management Politics. In: 13th Research Workshop, British Accounting and Finance Association, Accounting and Finance in Emerging Economies (AFEE) Special Interest Group, 4 Jun 2015, University of Huddersfield Business School, Huddersfield, UK, British Accounting and Finance Association, Accounting and Finance in Emerging Economies (AFEE) Special Interest Group.

Abstract

This paper provides an empirical case study as to how the macro political dynamics lead to the micro organisational changes of cost management practices in the public sector organisations. It draws on Dillard et al.'s (2004) version of institutional theory to explain how the micro organisational changes of cost management within the public organisations aligned with the macro institutional changes. Empirical data for the study come from an extended case study of a state-owned enterprise in the Egyptian Electricity and Energy Sector, in which semi-structured interviews, field observations and documentary analysis have been deployed as the data collection methods. The paper 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. 'Changes' of cost management practices deployed in such utilities then operate as technological tools through which the institutional dynamics between the polity and the economy are managed. Accordingly, the paper offers politico-economic mechanisms for cost management change in the public sector.

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