Mind the gap please


A workshop on bridging the gap between research and practice

Gillian Fawcett of CIPFA attended a very useful workshop at Nottingham Business School on 16th and 17th November that considered ways in which the international academic research community and public sector practitioners and policy makers can work more closely together. Through collaboration it is hoped those involved can achieve relevance in academic research, as well as impact in delivering research findings of practical benefit.

Over two days, the workshop identified a range of topics of practical relevance, as well as the main drivers for research activity and how these can best be used to promote mutually beneficial engagement and collaboration between the academic and practice communities. Key conclusions of the workshop included the benefit that could be gained from the co-design, co-creation and co-production of research agendas. Also discussed was the need to improve the dissemination of research findings through the better use of language and possibly, but not exclusively, via web based and social media channels.

The workshop was organised by the Accounting and Accountability Special Interest Group (AA SIG) of the International Research Society for Public Management (IRSPM) which is led by Professor Ileana Steccolini of Bocconi University and visiting Professor at Nottingham Business School.

The workshop attracted 40 participants from nine countries and a variety of disciplines. It was introduced by key note speaker Lee Parker, Professor of Accounting, RMIT University Melbourne and editor of Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal. Practitioner contributions to the round table discussions came from Gillian Fawcett (Head of Government’s faculty CIPFA), Dr Noel Tagoe (Executive Director of Education, CIMA), Aileen Murphie (Director DCLG/LG VFM at the National Audit Office) and David Pye Programme Manager Research Local Government Association. 

The IRSPM is the biggest international public management research network focussing on the public sector and aims to improve understanding of public management and public policy implementation through collaborative research and dissemination initiatives. It hosts international conferences covering the full spectrum of public management and policy ranging from accounting and accountability; performance management; leadership; governance and specific sectoral issues.

The special interest group leads the international debate on the role of accounting and performance measurement systems in order to improve budgeting, reporting, performance measurement and financial management practices in developed and emerging economies. 

SIG members have recently published work on “Accounting for Austerity” and have forth-coming publications covering topics such as “Comparative Performance Management and Accountability in the Austerity Era”, “Public Budgeting”, “Governmental Financial Resilience Under Austerity” and “Performance Measurement in Hybrid Organizations”. For more information on the work of the SIG you can visit their website.

Nottingham Business School, who hosted the conference, has a strong tradition in public sector management and accounting research and executive education and has been a successful CIPFA training centre for over 25 years.

For further details contact Dr Martin Jones (CPFA) or Pete Murphy at Nottingham Business School. martin.jones@ntu.ac.uk, or peter.murphy@ntu.ac.uk