Trends such as reintegration, ‘joined-up government,’ ‘whole of-government,’ ‘network management’ and ‘hybridization’ pose major problems to accountability (Dubnick 2005), particularly in the context of austerity policy (Bracci, et al. 2015). Multiple actors are likely to share the task and responsibility load, so they become more dependent their reciprocal information, direction and execution. As a consequence, there is a growing recognition of the importance of networks and inter-organizational dependencies leading to call for further research and debate into their effects on the way performance is measured, managed and reported. The aim of the present chapter is to investigate, through an exploratory case study, how accountability is shaped in a network of public and private actors and the set of means and processes adopted, in a period of budget cut-backs due to the financial constraints in the public sector. The chapter, drawing from the accountability literature (Romzek and Dubnick 1987; Romzek, et al. 2012), presents the result of a field study in a social services network in Italy.
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