Schlager 2007 suggests that AC could be improved by more attention to

Schlager 2007 suggests that ac could be improved by

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Schlager (2007) suggests that AC could be improved by more attention to institutional factors. AC’s eclectic epistemology is reflected in its consideration of individual actors. They are assumed to be boundedly rational actors with clear preferences (Zahariadis 1998), reflecting a rational choice epistemology. They are also constructive and persuasive policy makers within the limits of the social constructs of identity and meaning (beliefs) (Majone 1989; Schneider and Ingram 1997). In contrast to RI, AC “assumes that normative beliefs must be empirically ascertained and does not a priori preclude the possibility of altruistic behaviour” (Sabatier and Weible 2007, p. 194), reflecting a social construction epistemology. Sabatier and Weible (2007, P. 194) summarise this duality:
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70 “Following March and Olson (1996) the AC recognizes two systems of normative reasoning: A “logic of appropriateness”, in which right behaviour means following rules, and “a logic of consequences”, in which right behaviour involves maximising good consequences. It’s the classic conflict between sociologists and economists” (Sabatier and Weible 2007, P. 194). AC has been criticised because it suggests that major changes are primarily caused by external rather than internal events, which are usually associated with minor changes (2009, p. 24). In this regard, it reflects a HI perspective. At the same time, AC adopts a social construction perspective when it comes to group identification by highlighting the importance of ideas and beliefs. The social construction perspective is also reflected in the assumption that unstable/flexible institutional factors are not necessarily limiting, but can be changed by the agency of actors. But even within the assumptions about coalitions, AC has been criticised for its eclectic epistemology. While it assumes that coalitions are bound by belief systems (a constructionist, ideational approach 22 ), it does not view these beliefs as the drivers of change, but as an ‘ adhesive binding together of advocacy coalitions that are factors of stability rather than change (Weible, Sabatier and McQueen 2009). This view limits the agency of actors or ideas and results in a conclusion that radical change can only be caused by exogenous factors. This is in direct conflict with social construction approaches. AC is particularly suited to examine and explain public policy processes where groups with different belief systems compete. While different belief systems might play an important role in the GAAP/GFS harmonisation agenda setting process, such as economists’ beliefs versus accountants’ beliefs, focusing on this area might neglect 22 In reaction to exclusively material or institutional explanations of policy change, institutional scholars have put forward ideational approaches (Béland 2009) to explain policy change. Parsons (2002, p. 48) defines ideas in a narrow way as “claims about descriptio ns of the world, causal relationships, or the normative legitimacy of certain actions”. In combination with cultural symbols and discursive frames, they constitute ideational processes that enable individuals to ‘give meaning’ to their world (Parsons 2007; Steinmetz 1999).
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  • Fall '13
  • Government, The Land, International Financial Reporting Standards, Financial Accounting Standards Board, Australian Accounting Standards Board, Snow

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