Managerial accountability reforms in the context of the Greek public sector. Patterns of continuity and change, in organisational life : the case of the Hellenic Railway Organisation (OSE)
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The present study aims to depict the continuity and change in the patterns of interaction and accountability in the Hellenic Railway Organisation (OSE), as these are influenced by the application of managerial accountability reform, in the context of the Greek public sector. In particularly the present study focuses upon the effects on inner organisational patterns of interaction and accountability from the use of strategic and operational plans, in the effort of the Greek State to keep the company’s executive officer accountable for his/her decisions and actions. Critical to the present analysis is the role of the European Union in the reformation process in the Greek railway industry. Structuration Theory was used to provide a theoretical framework to guide the empirical research. In the course of the thesis it emerges that the power of subordinates to control the reformation process and to hold superordinates accountable for their actions and decisions was critical to the creation of meaningful and accountable relations between organisational actors and their outer organisational context. The dialectic of control is seen by the present study as the key factor that allows an organisational system to maintain a level of managerial and operational independence from elements of the institutional environment, with contradictory and conflicting interests, which aim to influence managerial and operational strategies. Managerial and operational independence of organisational systems, from their institutional environment, is seen as a precondition in order for organisational actors to develop relationships of trust and responsibility and to re-rationalise and modernise the patterns of organisational action and accountability. The inability of the OSE to efficiently apply its modernisation project is seen as the outcome of organisational actors’ inability to maintain a level of independence from the institutional environment and to formulate meaningful and accountable relationships. For that reason operational plans and performance objectives have failed to be coupled in the ongoing relationship between organisational actors in the OSE and their institutional environment. The disaggregation of the OSE into a holding company and company’s current dreadful financial and operational conditions are seen as the unintended consequences of the organisational action.