The mediating role of felt financial accountability and commitment in the feedback-performance relationship: an empirical study in healthcare

Accountability is a crucial issue in the public and private sectors  and its nature varies between contexts and across levels. In organizations, accountability at individual level has received increasing attention although the debate on determinants and consequences of accountability is still in progress. This study aims to deepen the understanding of the role exerted by organizational practices, namely multiple sources performance feedback, in enhancing employee job performance. Adopting a behavioral approach to management accounting research, in this paper we investigate how managers’ feelings about financial accountability (felt accountability) and commitment play mediating role in the feedback-performance relationship. Hypotheses were developed and tested in a questionnaire survey among 115 senior healthcare managers in an Italian public healthcare provider. Consistent with our expectations, our findings suggest that both formal and informal performance feedback practices act as an antecedent of managers’ felt financial accountability. Our results also demonstrate that felt accountability-managerial performance relationship is mediated by affective employee commitment to their managerial roles. Enhanced knowledge of the current state of accountability and performance feedback practices in an Italian healthcare will be of benefit to global clinical managers and medical professionals and a range of external stakeholders when it comes to making strategic organizational decisions, including performance measurement.

Professor Zahirul Hoque

Professor Hoque is an established and reputed researcher in his field and has been continuously employed as a full-time Professor of Management Accounting/Public Sector at La Trobe since December 2006, having previously been Professor and Chair of Accounting at Deakin University immediately prior to his appointment at La Trobe. He completed his 17 months long fixed term employment at La Trobe as the Associate Dean of Research in the former Faculty of Law and Management (now College of Arts, Social Sciences and Commerce) in June 2010. He was the acting Head of the Department of Accounting between August and December 2014. Later on, he has been appointed as the Head of the Department of Accounting and Data Analytics on a three-year fixed term contract commenced on 4 January 2015.

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