Accountability in the Thai public sector.
PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.
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The objectives of the thesis are: (1) to contribute to the literature on the issue of accountability in public sector organisations in a developing country; and (2) to explore the relationship between accountability theory and accountability aspects implemented and reflected in a developing country. There are three general research questions: How is accountability as defined in a western context reflected by public sector organisations in a developing country?; How do government departments in a developing country implement accountability?; and How does the experience of implementation in a developing country help us think about theories of accountability?
In order to achieve these objectives, this thesis explores accountability in the Thai public sector with a particular focus on Thai government departments. It is motivated by the implementation of public sector reform in Thailand and the promulgation of the Royal Decree on Criteria and Procedures for Good Governance B.E. 2546 (2003) following the Asian Economic Crisis in 1997 in order to recover Thailand from the crisis and to enhance accountability in operations.
From the literature review, a practical guideline, based on four concepts of accountability in practice, is developed for conducting interviews, and an analytical framework of coding schemes is developed for analysing the interview data. There are two main empirical parts. The first part is an interview-based case study, where semi-structured interviews were conducted, while the second examines communications in the public domain, where the content analysis was conducted.
The implementation of the aspects of accountability from western society does not lead to the creation of an entirely new system. It helps people in society to realise what they had in the past and clarifies the aspects of accountability that should be implemented. To enhance accountability in government departments, some improvement is needed. There are some factors such as cultural perspectives, incentives, motivations, pressures, systems, and organisational culture that influence the accountability relationship.
The contribution is (1) to discuss the literature on accountability issues in a developing country and (2) to link the findings with accountability theory in the public sector in a developing country. The findings show that the understanding of the aspects of accountability, the focus on types of accountability, qualification and educational training, and cultural perspectives, including motivations and incentives of accountors and accountees, affect the accountability relationship and how a developing country implements accountability.
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