Academic journal article Global Journal of Business Research

The Nature and Concept of Accountability: A Case Study of Three Entities in Fiji

Academic journal article Global Journal of Business Research

The Nature and Concept of Accountability: A Case Study of Three Entities in Fiji

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT

The notion of accountability is a vague concept. This is because the appropriateness of accountabilities depends on the context in which accountability is discharged to the recipient of information. The impetus for this study stems from a critical issue of whether discharging accountability to stakeholders by entities can be generalizable to all accountability structures and to understand how appropriately accountabilities are being rendered by entities in Fiji to their stakeholders. In light of this, our research method involves a case study of three entities in Fiji namely, Paradise Beverages (Fiji) Ltd, Home Finance Company Ltd (HFC) and Greenpeace Australia Pacific (GAP). Interviews were also conducted with three individuals from these three entities. The findings indicate that accountability is always context specific. Accountabilities towards stakeholders can be improved on but cannot be generalized to other accountability structures. This study contributes to our understanding of the vagueness of the nature of accountability and although our findings cannot be generalizable, other entities across the globe can understand that accountability can never be perfect for all of their stakeholder groups.

JEL: M41

KEYWORDS: Accountability, Appropriateness, Vagueness

INTRODUCTION

Accountability is a multi-disciplinary concept. In simplistic terms, accountability helps the recipient of information to assess the performance of the renderer of accountability and consequently, the recipient of information can then make certain assessments and evaluations. However, some pertinent issues exist when looking at the nature of accountability. These issues deal with concerns as to what exactly the recipient of information wants, what are the most efficient methods to discharge accountability and can there ever be one-best way of providing accountability.

The initial premise is that the nature of accountability is a vague concept. This is a global phenomenon and as such, the impetus for this study stems from a critical issue of whether discharging accountability to stakeholders by entities can be generalizable to all accountability structures and to understand how appropriately accountabilities are being rendered by entities in Fiji to their stakeholders.

In light of this, three entities were selected from different sectors from Fiji. Paradise Beverages (Fiji) Ltd (PBL); Home Finance Company Ltd (HFC) and Greenpeace Australia Pacific (GAP). Fiji falls under the jurisdiction of Greenpeace Australia Pacific. Paradise Beverages (Fiji) Ltd was selected because they are a publicly listed and a profit oriented company. Home Finance Company Ltd was selected because they are also a profit oriented but a locally owned Fijian bank. Finally, Greenpeace Australia Pacific was selected because they are a Non-Government Organization (NGO) and NGO's typically have well established accountability structures.

The selection of these three entities would create a platform to perform a comparative analysis because the nature of accountabilities discharged and required of the three entities is likely to differ. Thus, we will consider why this is so and how can these entities best develop their accountability to their stakeholders. This will pave the way to analyze the implications the expansion of each entity's accountabilities may have for their processes of governance and theories of accountability and governance will be used to provide a theoretical framework.

This paper is organized as follows: The next section looks at the literature review where prior studies on accountabilities will be discussed. Followed by, the research methods section and the analysis section. The final section delivers the conclusion and explores areas for future research.

LITERATURE REVIEW

Academics have continuously endeavored to study and investigate the vast issues underlying the concept of accountability. …

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