Details of recent projects conducted by IPSAR members.

The Modernisation of the Scandinavian Public Sectors

Hans Knutsson (Lund) and Irvine Lapsley (University of Edinburgh Business School)

In Scandinavia there are early adopters of NPM practices (such as Sweden) and late adopters (such as Norway). This project identified trajectories and significant influences on Scandinavian thinking and practices.

Reform of Governmental Accounting

Adriana Bruno (Salerno) and Irvine Lapsley

An investigation of the adoption and implementation of accrual accounting in government. One major NPM reform was the advocacy of the accrual accounting practices of private sector companies by governments and government agencies. This study examined the experiences of an Italian regional government in its adoption and implementation of accrual accounting.


Christine Cooper (University of Edinburgh Business School) and Irvine Lapsley

The Hillsborough tragedy was a shocking event for the families who lost people, for the city of Liverpool, and for football fans everywhere. This incident raised major public accountability issues and highlighted the challenges of police modernisation.

The Modern State

Irvine Lapsley and Federica Selgato (Politecnico di Milano)

This project examines the impact of IT transformation on citizens in an NPM world.

Football Cities

Deborah Agostino (Politecnico di Milano), Irvine Lapsley, Gert Paulsson and Anna Thomasson (Lund University)

The city is an object of study which has a growing interest. This study examines the importance of football in cities.

The Governance of FIFA

Irvine Lapsley and Anna Scheer (Friedrich Schiller Universiteit)

FIFA is a major non-profit organisation which is beset with allegations of its involvement in corrupt activities. This project examines the unfolding story of the weaknesses in FIFA governance.

Higher Education Policies

Juan Du (Konigsberg International) and Irvine Lapsley

This is a study of the preoccupation with quantification, metrics, and markets in higher education.

NPM Reversal

Per Christian Ahlgren (NTNU), Irvine Lapsley, and Kari Nyland (NTNU)

A case study of NPM rejection by a Norwegian Health Board.

Accounting for Crime

A. Ala (Queen’s University, Belfast) and Irvine Lapsley

This is a study of initiatives to include the finances of illicit trade, such as drug trafficking, in official estimates of country wealth.


Irvine Lapsley

This research is focused on the emergence and development of Brexit and is tracking the Brexit process from the angle of the significance of calculative practice in shaping policy.

The Good Practice Project

Irvine Lapsley and Ola Mattison (Lund Unviersity)

This project will examine the advocacy and adoption of novel techniques in public management from a Fads and Fashions perspective.

The Transformation Project

Nils Brunsson (Uppsala), Irvine Lapsley, and Peter Miller (London School of Economics)

This project will analyse two decades of public sector modernisation of public sector organisation. The intention is to offer insights to public sector researchers, public managers, and government policymakers.

The Eurozone 2 Project

Sandra Cohen (Athens University of Economics and Business), Maria Dolores Guillamon (University of Murcia), Irvine Lapsley, Geraldine Robbins (National University of Ireland, Galway)

In 2015, the researchers had a study published on the Eurozone crisis of sovereign debt, the Euro as a suboptimal unit of currency, and the actions of Troika’s austerity programmes: ‘Accounting for Austerity: The Troika in the Eurozone’, Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, 2015, Vol. 28, No. 6. This is a follow-up study on the conduct and impact of austerity programmes and their policy outcomes.

The SMART City Project

Michela Arnaboldi (Politecnico di Milano) and Irvine Lapsley

The extant literature depicts SMART as technologically driven. This study reflects on the tensions between the technological imperative and a management articulation of SMART.

Calculative Practice in the Political Arena

Irvine Lapsley

This will extend Irvine’s Brexit study to a range of political scenarios where calculative practice has been influential in shaping policy (including Mega projects and immigration).

Management Expertise in Non-profit Organisations

Vicky Lambert (University of Dundee) and Irvine Lapsley

This is a study of the increased expectation that non-profit organisations will move from gifted amateurism to professional management in fulfilling their missions.

A Devolution Retrospective

Mahmoud Ezzamel (Cardiff University), Noel Hyndman (Queen’s University, Belfast), Åge Johnsen (Oslo Metropolitan University) and Irvine Lapsley

After a major ESRC project investigating devolution over its first 10 years, this follow-up study will offer commentaries on 20 years of devolution.

Transparency in Governmental Budgeting

Elisa Henderson (University of Edinburgh Business School) and Irvine Lapsley (University of Edinburgh Business School)

A study of the significance of transparency in public finances and obstacles to its effective implementation.