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Responsibility versus accountability in the Friedrich‐Finer debate

Responsibility versus accountability in the Friedrich‐Finer debate Purpose – To consider anew the classic debate between Herman Finer and Carl Friedrich in the history of public administration that has shaped both the theory and practice of government since the 1940s in much of the Western world, and in other parts of the world influenced by the Western example. Design/methodology/approach – A study of the original contribution of both Finer and Friedrich in their own times, which is then put into the current context of reducing the size of government. Findings – The central argument is a distinction between accountability which means obeying orders and responsibility which means acting on a judgment of the greater good. Originality/value – The paper reminds readers that accountability to a minister and responsibility to the public good may not always coincide. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Management History Emerald Publishing

Responsibility versus accountability in the Friedrich‐Finer debate

Journal of Management History , Volume 15 (1): 12 – Jan 9, 2009

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2009 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1751-1348
DOI
10.1108/17511340910921790
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – To consider anew the classic debate between Herman Finer and Carl Friedrich in the history of public administration that has shaped both the theory and practice of government since the 1940s in much of the Western world, and in other parts of the world influenced by the Western example. Design/methodology/approach – A study of the original contribution of both Finer and Friedrich in their own times, which is then put into the current context of reducing the size of government. Findings – The central argument is a distinction between accountability which means obeying orders and responsibility which means acting on a judgment of the greater good. Originality/value – The paper reminds readers that accountability to a minister and responsibility to the public good may not always coincide.

Journal

Journal of Management HistoryEmerald Publishing

Published: Jan 9, 2009

Keywords: Public administration; Public policy; Modern history

References