Interplay between governance and accounting systems in Africa

Lassou, Phillippe J C (2012). Interplay between governance and accounting systems in Africa. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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This thesis examines the interplay between country level governance and accounting systems considering the role of the World Bank and other donors in the development of both governance and accounting in Africa. The purpose of the research is threefold. The first is to assess the state of accounting systems on the continent using Ghana and Benin as illustrative cases. The second purpose is to examine the link between accounting and governance, and the current donors’ approach to the development of governance and accounting in Africa. The third purpose relates to the examination, through the lens of political economy, of the factors hampering the development of sound governance and accounting systems in Africa. The research is conducted through a case-study and cross-national design with four data collection methods: interview, observation, survey and documents. The study finds that accounting systems in Benin and Ghana are very weak despite the reform initiatives undertaken in the area, and that the main difference between the two systems relates to the relatively higher level of accounting information available to the public in Ghana compared with Benin. Further, the findings suggest that there is a potential causal relationship between accounting and governance. With regard to the World Bank and other donors’ approach, it is found that the approach to governance and accounting reforms in Africa suffers from a lack of contextual and cultural fit. The study also identifies and explains the various political and economic forces and interests that shape the development of governance and accounting in Africa. These findings complement, extend and challenge existing studies in the field.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
School or Department: Birmingham Business School, Department of Accounting and Finance
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5601 Accounting
J Political Science > JC Political theory


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