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Understanding Felt Accountability

Kristin Rubecksen, Lise H. Rykkja and Per Lægreid are co-author on new article in Governance.

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In connection with an international research project led by professor Thomas Schillemans in Utrecht, our own Kristin Rubecksen, Lise H. Rykkja and Per Lægreid have co-authored the article «Understanding Felt Accountability - The institutional antecedents of the felt accountability of agency‐CEO's to central government» in Governance.

The literature on autonomous public agencies often adopts a top‐down approach, focusing on the means with which those agencies can be steered and controlled. This article opens up the black box of the agencies and zooms in on their CEO's and their perceptions of hierarchical accountability.

The article focuses on felt accountability, denoting the manager's (a) expectation to have to explain substantive decisions to a parent department perceived to be (b) legitimate and (c) to have the expertise to evaluate those decisions.

The authors explore felt accountability of agency‐CEO's and its institutional antecedents with a survey in seven countries combining insights from public administration and psychology. Their bottom‐up perspective reveals close connections between de facto control practices rather than formal institutional characteristics and felt accountability of CEO's of agencies. They contend that felt accountability is a crucial cog aligning accountability holders' expectations and behaviors by CEO's

Find full article HERE.