Understanding the Type and Pace of Organisational Change in the Maltese Budgetary Framework

Ellul Lauren
European Research Studies Journal, Volume XXIII, Issue 1, 75-93, 2020
DOI: 10.35808/ersj/1537


Purpose: This paper analyses the type and pace of organisational change expected in the Maltese budgetary framework. Drawing on the Greenwood and Hinings’ (1996) model, the paper provides an examination of the internal dynamics surrounding the budgetary framework in Malta, including stakeholders’ dissatisfaction, value commitments, power dependencies and capacity for action. The paper explores the different categories of performance budgeting systems (presentational, performance-informed and direct) and their bearing on the different levels of change. Design/methodology/approach: The study follows a qualitative approach using data gathered from documentary sources, corroborated with empirical evidence collected from in-depth, semi-structured interviews. The interviews comprised open-ended questions and they were conducted with senior politicians from the government and the opposition, including former ministers and Prime Ministers, and with senior civil servants. Findings: The findings indicate that a radical change to the existing Maltese budgeting system could be problematic, as the current system is an institutionalised practice and change could be resisted by the parties affected by the reform. The findings suggest that, within the Maltese scenario, the political ability required to make reforms happen is a further enabler of radical change. Originality/value: The paper provides an analysis of the expected change in the budgetary framework of a small EU country, identifying the enabling elements of such a change. The method of analysis could be extended to other countries which intend to embark on budgetary reforms. The study also assesses the relevant issues from a policy-making perspective, through access to senior politicians as policy makers, and senior civil servants who influence policy makers and are responsible for implementing policy.

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