Accounting for Reform: Argument, Evaluation and Rationality

Dr. Hal Colebatch

Organisational innovations aimed at enabling more integrated service delivery – sometimes call the ‘one stop shop’ – have become sufficiently common (largely, but not exclusively, in the public sector) to attract academic attention, classification and critique. This paper is focused on the nature of these critiques, and what they show about the different ways that practitioners and academics approach the explanation and validation of practice. It draws on academic work on organisational dynamics, particularly on frames and framing, and also (to a limited extent) on the author’s own experience of one of these organisational innovations. It concludes with a discussion of the implications of this analysis for research practice and for the theorising of organising.