Non-conformance with regulatory codes in the non-profit sector: accountability and the discursive coupling of means and ends

COULE, Tracey and DICK, Penelope (2017). Non-conformance with regulatory codes in the non-profit sector: accountability and the discursive coupling of means and ends. Business and Society.

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Abstract

The concept of means-ends decoupling has recently been suggested as one consequence of the problems organizations face in trying to comply with institutional rules in contexts of institutional complexity. Such decoupling is characterised by the adoption, implementation and scrutiny of particular codes of practice which tend not to deliver the outcomes they were developed to produce. Recent scholarship focusing on this issue has suggested that such decoupling is a consequence of the “trade-off” organizations need to make between compliance and goal achievement most especially when the latter is difficult to evaluate. While recent scholarship has suggested that this tension might be mitigated by the activities of developers of compliance rules, in this paper, we explore how actors internal to an organization, in this case, two charitable organizations mitigate this tension via non-conformance with particular codes. We focus on how the process of accounting for non-conformance results in the discursive coupling of means and ends as actors creatively develop vocabularies of motive which respond to anticipated social criticism.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Sheffield Business School Research Institute > People, Work and Organisation
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Tracey Coule
Date Deposited: 22 Nov 2017 14:47
Last Modified: 22 Nov 2017 14:56
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/17263

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