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Explaining The Use Of Recommended Practices And Guidelines: The Case Of Public Budgeting

Author: DAVID J. HELPAP
Published in PAQ, Vol. 39 No. 2

Few themes in public administration have been more constant than the search for greater effectiveness and efficiency. In fact, nearly every aspect of the field has been defined by various principles, best practices, and recommended guidelines that can, according to their supporters, lead to better organizational performance. While many public organizations adhere to these types of guidelines, others do not. This research attempts to explain such variation by examining recommendations developed and promoted by the Government Finance Officers Association. Using a national survey of local public budget and finance officials, a number of explanations are explored with various quantitative methods. Results indicate elite support, organizational professionalism, and certain municipal characteristics most determine the degree to which the practices of local governments match those associated with the organization.

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