Title: Institutional destabilisation and the new public management: the case of tax incremental financing

Authors: Mark A. Covaleski, Mark W. Dirsmith, Katrina L. Mantzke

Addresses: University of Wisconsin-Madison, School of Business, 975 University Avenue, Madison, WI 53706, USA. ' Smeal: Business at Penn State, and The Social Thought Program, University Park, PA 16802, USA. ' Department of Accountancy, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL 60115, USA

Abstract: With the goal of extending the New Public Management perspective by focusing on the play of vested interests and power, our study examines the active agency of a single company contracting with local and state governments to implement a Tax Incremental Financing (TIF) programme. Extending beyond the traditional focus of institutional theory on organisational conformity to institutionalised expectations, our analysis expands upon an emerging strand of research which argues that regulated organisations may manipulate the laws which govern them to serve their own ends. We find that even though the TIF programme was constructed in a relatively concrete manner with very little uncertainty as to its provisions, it was manipulated through strategic action on the part of the company regulated. What proved more interesting, however, was the social process by which stakeholders interpreted, negotiated and grudgingly came to agree on the meaning of this regulation.

Keywords: public-private partnerships; cross-sector collaboration; new public management; public policy; institutional destabilisation; tax incremental financing; vested interests; regulation manipulation; tax incentive; tax law; institutional theory; power.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPP.2005.007799

International Journal of Public Policy, 2005 Vol.1 No.1/2, pp.122 - 147

Available online: 19 Sep 2005 *

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