How to Face Financial Reality: An Interdisciplinary Network Model of Local Governance Actors
27 Pages Posted: 10 Oct 2014 Last revised: 24 May 2018
Date Written: October 8, 2014
Managing financial resources and financial obligations are essential to the implementation of good governance. In particular, the constituents and leaders in smaller local governments and not-for profit entities confront a host of challenges in understanding and communicating about their financial situation. Using insights from five disciplines (Governmental Accounting, Political Science, Network Sociology, Cognitive Psychology and Data Visualization), this paper develops a systematic approach to categorizing the main and supporting actors and how they perceive and communicate financial reality among themselves. The main actors are the Leaders, the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and the Constituents; the supporting actors are the Media, the Auditors and Outside Experts/Powers (OEP). The model is beneficial for both researchers and practitioners: researchers can more efficiently and rigorously conduct case studies regardless of sample size while practitioners can quickly and exhaustively map and respond to gaps in their overall governance systems. The model can be expressed mathematically in a series of equations or visually using a “triforce” network map. The paper concludes with example cases across different jurisdictional scopes (e.g. school district, city, special district, nonprofit, etc).
Keywords: Financial Governance, Financial Reality, Government Accounting
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