Understanding Informal Accountability of Governmental Managers in Inter-Organizational Networks: A Case Study in Planning and Development Council of Zanjan Province

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Assistant Prof., Department of Public Administration, Faculty of Management and Accounting, University of Tehran, Farabi Campus, Qum, Iran

2 Assistant Prof., Department of Business Management, Faculty of Management and Accounting, University of Tehran, Farabi Campus, Qum, Iran

3 Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Public Administration, University of Tehran, Farabi Campus, Qum, Iran.


Objective:The main purpose of this study was to understand the informal accountability of governmental executives in inter-organizational network i.e. to understand how norms, expectations, informal interactions and interpersonal behaviors among Iranian governmental executives reveal themselves as informal accountability?
Methods: The present research is a case study based on interpretativism using qualitative approach. The planning and development council of Zanjan province was selected as the case to study. Then, based on snowball sampling and to collect data, in-depth interviews with a sample of 22 government executives were conducted. Qualitative content analysis through MAXQDA software was used to analyze the data.
Results: This research showed that informal accountability can be elicited within informal interactions through discretionary activities of council members. Individual interests, being beneficent to people, ethics and values, personality and leadership style of managers, and background variables are factors influencing the effective management of informal interactions. Council members are trying to keep each other accountable for unwritten norms and laws during the course of informal interactions, and their only means of enforcing this issue are the pressure and support that they apply to each other.
Conclusion: The present research extended the theoretical framework provided by Ramesz et al. (2012, 2013) on informal accountability in the network between private organizations and the public sector and among intermediate managers. This study also identified the ineffectiveness of the administrative system, the inappropriate selection system and appointment of managers and the pressures of political officials as the most important challenges, and the sharing of information and regulatory culture as the most important opportunities for governmental executives to take on informal accountability


Main Subjects

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