Public Organization Review

, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 157–174 | Cite as

Accountability in Voluntary Partnerships: To Whom and for What?

Article

Abstract

This paper contributes to the understanding of accountability in collaborative governance by presenting views of practitioners from partnerships formed between K-12 public schools and private and nonprofit organizations in the United States. It focuses on two questions: what do partnership practitioners see the partnerships as being accountable for? And to whom do they see the partnerships as being accountable? The findings suggest that partnership participants reveal more of client-based and results-oriented views of accountability. They are more directly concerned about professional accountability and accountability to the partners. A concentric-circles model is then developed to illustrate the accountability relationships in partnerships.

Keywords

Accountability Public–private partnerships Practitioners Collaborative governance Contemporary public management 

References

  1. Acar, M., & Robertson, P. J. (2004). Accountability challenges in partnerships and networks: evidence from educational partnerships in the United States. International Review of Administrative Sciences, 70(2), 359–374.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Acar, M., Guo, C., & Yang, K. (2008). Accountability when hierarchical authority is absent: views from public–private partnership practitioners. American Review of Public Administration, 38(1), 3–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Agranoff, R., & McGuire, M. (2001). Big questions in public network management research. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 11, 295–326.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Aucoin, P., & Heintzman, R. (2000). The dialectics of accountability in an era of reform. International Review of Administrative Sciences, 66(1), 45–56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Barberis, P. (1998). The new public management and a new accountability. Public Administration, 76(3), 451–470.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bardach, E., & Lesser, C. (1996). Accountability in human services collaboratives—for what? and to whom? Journal of Public Administration Research & Theory, 6(2), 197–224.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Behn, R. D. (2001). Rethinking democratic accountability. Washington: Brookings.Google Scholar
  8. Bogason, P., & Musso, J. A. (2006). Introduction—the democratic prospects of network governance. The American Review of Public Administration, 36(1), 3–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Caiden, G. E. (1988). The problem of ensuring the public accountability of public officials. In J. G. Jabbra & O. P. Dwidedi (Eds.), Public service accountability: A comparative perspective (pp. 17–38). West Hartford: Kumarian.Google Scholar
  10. Considine, M. (2002). The end of the line? Accountable governance in the age of networks, partnerships, and joined-up services. Governance: An International Journal of Policy, Administration, & Institutions, 15(1), 21–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Cooper, T. L. (1998). The responsible administrator (4th ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  12. Day, P., & Klein, R. (1987). Accountabilities: Five public services. London: Tavistock.Google Scholar
  13. deLeon, L. (1998). Accountability in a reinvented government. Public Administration, 76(3), 539–558.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Dunn, D. D., & Legge, J. S., Jr. (2000). U.S. local government managers and the complexity of responsibility and accountability in democratic governance. Journal of Public Administration Research & Theory, 11(1), 73–88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Ebrahim, A. (2003). Making sense of accountability: conceptual perspectives for Northern and Southern Nonprofits. Nonprofit Management & Leadership, 14(2), 191–212.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Ebrahim, A. (2005). Accountability myopia: losing sight of organizational learning. Nonprofit & Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 34(1), 56–87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Herman, J. (2003). 2003 annual meeting theme and highlights—accountability for educational quality: shared responsibility. Educational Researcher, 32(1), 43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hummel, R. (1991). Stories managers tell: why they are as valid as science. Public Administration Review, 51, 31–41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Janesick, V. J. (1998). The dance of qualitative research design—Metaphor, methodolatry, and meaning. In N. K. Denzin & Y. S. Lincoln (Eds.), Strategies of qualitative inquiry (pp. 35–55). Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
  20. Jos, P. H., & Tompkins, M. E. (2004). The accountability paradox in an age of reinvention—the perennial problem of preserving character and judgement. Administration & Society, 36(3), 255–281.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Kearns, K. P. (1994). The strategic management of accountability in nonprofit organizations: an analytical framework. Public Administration Review, 54(2), 185–192.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Kearns, K. P. (1996). Managing for accountability: Preserving the public trust in public and nonprofit organizations. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  23. Koppell, J. G. S. (2005). Pathologies of accountability: ICANN and the challenge of “multiple accountabilities disorder”. Public Administration Review, 65(1), 94–108.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Ladd, H. F. (Ed.). (1996). Holding schools accountable—Performance-based reform in education. Washington: The Brookings Institution.Google Scholar
  25. McCandless, H., & Wright, D. (1993). Enhancing public accountability. Optimum—The Journal of Public Sector Management, 24(2), 110–118.Google Scholar
  26. Mulgan, R. (2000). Accountability: an ever-expanding concept? Public Administration, 78(3), 555–573.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Myers, R., & Lacey, R. (1996). Consumer satisfaction, performance and accountability in the public sector. International Review of Administrative Sciences, 62, 331–350.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Newman, J. (2004). Constructing accountability: network governance and managerial agency. Public Policy & Administration, 19(4), 17–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Page, S. (2006). The web of managerial accountability—the impact of reinventing government. Administration & Society, 38(2), 166–197.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Patton, M. Q. (2002). Qualitative evaluation and research methods (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
  31. Quirk, B. (1997). Accountable to everyone: postmodern pressures on public managers. Public Administration, 75(3), 569–586.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Roberts, N. C. (2002). Keeping public officials accountable through dialogue: resolving the accountability paradox. Public Administration Review, 62(6), 658–669.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Romzek, B. S. (2000). Dynamics of public sector accountability in an era of reform. International Review of Administrative Sciences, 66, 21–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Romzek, B. S., & Dubnick, M. J. (1987). Accountability in the public sector: lessons from the challenger tragedy. Public Administration Review, 47(3), 227–238.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Romzek, B. S., & Dubnick, M. J. (1994). Issues of accountability in flexible personnel systems. In P. W. Ingraham & B. S. Romzek (Eds.), New paradigms for government: Issues for the changing public service (pp. 263–294). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  36. Romzek, B. S., & Dubnick, M. J. (1998). Accountability. In J. M. Shafritz (Ed.), International encyclopedia of public policy and administration (pp. 6–11). Boulder: Westview.Google Scholar
  37. Rosenau, P. V. (1999). Introduction—the strengths and weaknesses of public–private policy partnerships. American Behavioral Scientist, 43(1), 10–34.Google Scholar
  38. Saxton, G. D., & Guo, C. (2011). Accountability online: understanding the web-based accountability practices of nonprofit organizations. Nonprofit & Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 40(2), 270–295.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Sinclair, A. (1995). The chameleon of accountability: forms and discourses. Accounting, Organizations & Society, 20(2/3), 219–237.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Stanyer, J. (1974). Divided responsibilities: accountability in decentralized government. Public Administration Bulletin, 17, 14–30.Google Scholar
  41. Taylor, M. (1996). Between public and private: accountability in voluntary organizations. Policy & Politics, 24(1), 57–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Thomas, P. G. (1997). Accountability and access. Optimum—The Journal of Public Sector Management, 27(3), 24–31.Google Scholar
  43. Weiss, R. S. (1994). Learning from strangers: The art and method of qualitative interview studies. New York: Free.Google Scholar
  44. Whitaker, G. P., Altman-Sauer, L., & Henderson, M. (2004). Mutual accountability between governments and nonprofits: moving beyond “surveillance” to “service”. The American Review of Public Administration, 34(2), 115–133.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Wohlstetter, P. (1991). Accountability mechanisms for state education reform: some organizational alternatives. Educational Evaluation & Policy Analysis, 13(1), 31–48.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political Science and Public Administration, Faculty of Economics and Administrative SciencesHacettepe UniversityBeytepe-AnkaraTurkey
  2. 2.Department of Public Administration and Policy, School of Public and International AffairsUniversity of GeorgiaAthensUSA
  3. 3.Askew School of Public Administration and PolicyFlorida State UniversityTallahasseeUSA

Personalised recommendations