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  • 1.
    Argento, Daniela
    Kristianstad University, School of Health and Society, Avdelningen för Ekonomi.
    Il dominio dei cambiamenti nei servizi pubblici locali: fattori stimolanti ed ostativi2012In: Ricerche intorno all'azienda universale: gli allievi per Giuseppe Catturi / [ed] Roberto Di Pietra, Riccardo Mussari, Angelo Riccaboni, Padova: CEDAM, 2012, p. 201-215Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 2.
    Argento, Daniela
    Kristianstad University, School of Health and Society, Avdelningen för Ekonomi.
    Le correlazioni tra variabili di disclosure e caratteristiche dei CDA2012In: Le disclosure dei compensi agli amministratori nei bilanci delle società italiane quotate / [ed] Roberto Di Pietra, Padova: CEDAM, 2012, p. 305-344Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 3.
    Argento, Daniela
    et al.
    Kristianstad University, School of Health and Society, Avdelningen för Ekonomi och arbetsliv. Kristianstad University, Research environment Governance, Regulation, Internationalization and Performance (GRIP.
    Culasso, Francesca
    Italien.
    Truant, Elisa
    Italien.
    Competing logics in the expansion of public service corporations2016In: Utilities Policy, ISSN 0957-1787, E-ISSN 1878-4356, Vol. 40, p. 125-133Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper contributes to the current debate on the evolving nature and meaning of public service corporations. It draws upon notions of neo-institutional theory and adopts a case study methodology. The study focuses on the case of SMAT, an Italian water corporation, whose value has been recognized at home and internationally. Findings show how a public service corporation's priorities and activities, particularly commercialization and internationalization, are constrained by various factors. These include: the burden of regulatory frameworks, the public nature of the corporation and its governance, the expectations of users, and the need for infrastructural investment.

  • 4.
    Argento, Daniela
    et al.
    Kristianstad University, School of Health and Society.
    Di Pietra, Roberto
    Department of Business and Social Studies, University of Siena.
    Exploring the receptivity to accounting regulation change: what information is being disclosed in Italian Management's Reports2012Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper is aimed at investigating how regulatory change affects corporate disclosure. In particular, an analysis of the information disclosed in the Management’s Reports prepared by Italian listed companies is conducted. The Italian context is interesting because the 2007 reform has extended the contents to be included in Management’s Reports. Companies have to disclose information pertaining to risks and uncertainties, performance indicators, environment and personnel. These new requirements do not only lead to an increase of the information to be disclosed, but also to a change in the nature of the information made available. In addition to the more traditional financial information, also social, environmental and strategic information must be provided. The content analysis conducted on the 2008 financial year Management’s Reports prepared by the major Italian listed companies allows for formulating reflections on the receptivity to regulatory change. Research findings suggest that only few companies have been receptive to the reform.

  • 5.
    Argento, Daniela
    et al.
    Kristianstad University, School of Health and Society, Avdelningen för Ekonomi.
    Di Pietra, Roberto
    University of Siena.
    IASB ED management commentary versus European regulation: the impact on Management’s Reports of companies listed on Italian stock exchange2014In: Accounting and regulation: new insights on governance, markets and institutions / [ed] Roberto Di Pietra, Stuart McLeay, Joshua Ronen, New York: Springer-Verlag New York, 2014, p. 291-309Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This chapter aims to investigate how regulatory change affects corporate disclosure. The explanations are based on institutional theory which provides an understanding of how organizations may react to a change in the regulatory framework. By conducting a content analysis, the chapter focuses on the information disclosed in the Management’s Reports prepared by the major Italian listed companies after the enactment of the 2007 law. This law extended companies’ disclosure obligations since management has to disclose information pertaining to risks and uncertainties, performance indicators, environment, and personnel. The new requirements not only lead to an increase in the information to be disclosed, but also to a change in the nature of the disclosed information. In addition to the more traditional financial information, also social, environmental, and strategic information should be provided. The main results of the content analysis allow to formulate some tentative reflections on companies’ receptivity to the 2007 regulatory change.

  • 6.
    Argento, Daniela
    et al.
    Department of Business and Social Studies, University of Siena.
    Grossi, Giuseppe
    Department of Business and Social Studies, University of Siena.
    Tagesson, Torbjörn
    Halmstad University.
    Collin, Sven-Olof
    Kristianstad University, School of Health and Society.
    The "externalisation" of local public service delivery: experience in Italy and Sweden2010In: International Journal of Public Policy, ISSN 1740-0600, E-ISSN 1740-0619, Vol. 5, no 1, p. 41-56Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In recent years, the local government sector in European countries has undergone important changes involving, among other things, the externalisation of local public service provision through various forms of corporatisation, public-public collaboration, public-private partnerships and contracting out. An important consequence of these institutional changes has been the recasting of local governance systems through the need for increased cooperation between public and private actors. This article addresses these matters with comparative reference to the experience in Italy and Sweden. In doing so, it considers local governments in their constitutional and legal contexts, leading to more detailed discussions of their externalisation initiatives and resultant organisational forms and governance arrangements. Issues of ownership have been important concerning the significance of 'community' and 'place' in the management of public affairs.

  • 7.
    Argento, Daniela
    et al.
    Kristianstad University, School of Health and Society, Avdelningen för Ekonomi.
    Grossi, Giuseppe
    Kristianstad University, School of Health and Society, Avdelningen för Ekonomi.
    Thomasson, Anna
    School of Economics and Management, Lund University.
    Governance and control of externalized water service management: comparing solutions adopted in Italy and Sweden2011In: Corporate Ownership & Control, ISSN 1727-9232, E-ISSN 1810-3057, Vol. 8, no 3, p. 188-195Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this paper the challenges imposed on corporate governance of water services in Italy and Sweden are analyzed and compared. From the comparative analysis we notice that with externalization of services more stakeholders become involved in the provision of the services. These stakeholders have common as well as divergent interests and the challenges thus become to find an alignment of interest among stakeholders in order to secure a sustainable provision of the services. The comparative analysis indicate that such alignment is especially difficult when stakeholders have heterogeneous background (public and private sector).

  • 8.
    Argento, Daniela
    et al.
    Kristianstad University, School of Health and Society, Avdelningen för Ekonomi.
    Grossi, Giuseppe
    Kristianstad University, School of Health and Society, Avdelningen för Ekonomi.
    Vollenweider, Petra
    Kristianstad University, School of Health and Society.
    Explaining the consolidation of financial statementsin the Swiss Federal Government2012In: Yearbook of Swiss Administrative Sciences 2012, Winterthur: Swiss Society of Administrative Sciences SSAS , 2012, p. 11-22Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The growing development of decentralized entities has highlighted the limitations f the traditional annual reports of governments, which do not necessarily capture he financial consequences of subsidiaries, joint ventures and associates. There s a growing tendency to consider consolidated financial statements as essential o support decision-making processes and to ensure higher public accountability. his paper seeks to understand and to explain how the Swiss Federal Government as prepared its consolidated financial statements for the three fiscal years 009–2011.

  • 9.
    Argento, Daniela
    et al.
    Kristianstad University, School of Health and Society, Avdelningen för Ekonomi.
    Magliacani, M
    L´analisi di alcune ricerche realizzate nel contesto italiano ed internazionale2012In: Le disclosure dei compensi agli amministratori nei bilanci delle società italiane quotate / [ed] Roberto Di Pietra, Padova: CEDAM, 2012, p. 59-74Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 10.
    Argento, Daniela
    et al.
    Kristianstad University, School of Health and Society, Avdelningen för Ekonomi och Arbetsliv. Kristianstad Univ, Ctr Business Studies, Kristianstad, Sweden..
    Peda, Peeter
    Finland.
    Interactions fostering trust and contract combinations in local public services provision2015In: International Journal of Public Sector Management, ISSN 0951-3558, E-ISSN 1758-6666, Vol. 28, no 4-5, p. 335-351Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to explore the relationship between trust and contract in the context of externalized local public services provision. Design/methodology/approach - A multi-theoretical framework is used to analyse different combinations of control mechanisms (i.e. trust and contract) with reference to three cases of externalized water service provision in Estonia consisting of inter-organizational relationships between local governments and water companies with different ownership structures (public, private and mixed public-private). Findings - The relationship between trust and contract, which can either be substitutes or complements, or eventually erode each other, is contingent upon the capacity of interacting individuals (and related organizations) to keep interests aligned in water services provision. Originality/value - The relationship between trust and contract is analysed by considering the interactions between key actors within the underlying governance setting.

  • 11.
    Argento, Daniela
    et al.
    Kristianstad University, Faculty of Business, Research environment Governance, Regulation, Internationalization and Performance (GRIP. Kristianstad University, Faculty of Business, Avdelningen för ekonomi.
    Umans, Timurs
    Kristianstad University, Faculty of Business, Research environment Auditing, Organisation and Society (AOS). Kristianstad University, Faculty of Business, Avdelningen för ekonomi. Linnaeus University.
    Håkansson, Patricia
    Kristianstad University, Faculty of Business.
    Johansson, Annika
    Kristianstad University, Faculty of Business.
    Reliance on the internal auditors’ work: experiences of Swedish external auditors2018In: Journal of Management Control, ISSN 2191-4761, E-ISSN 2191-477X, Vol. 29, no 3-4, p. 95-325Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The purpose of this study is to explore how external auditors experience their decision to rely on internal auditors’ work. This study employs both qualitative and quantitative methods consisting of semi-structured interviews and questionnaires administered to external auditors in Sweden. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with external auditors who are working in Big 4 audit firms in Sweden and have engagements with internal audit functions. A questionnaire was administered to authorized/approved auditors, members of the Swedish Association of Certified Public Accountants (FAR). Findings indicate that external auditors use the work of internal auditors as they gain efficiency in performing their work. Nevertheless, external auditors may compromise their independence and professionalism through closer involvement with internal auditors, which may lead to uncritical evaluation and use of the reports prepared by internal auditors. At the same time, while relying on the internal auditors’ reports, external auditors appear to be conscious of the consequences for the audit quality they deliver. The study highlights the dilemma faced by external auditors in their cooperative work with internal auditors and the balance/imbalance in their opinions concerning efficiency gains, independence, professionalism and audit quality.

  • 12.
    Argento, Daniela
    et al.
    University of Siena, Italy.
    van Helden, Jan Gerrit
    University of Groningen, The Netherlands.
    Reforming the Dutch water chain: how radical ambitions turned into a moderate pace of change2009In: Journal of Accouting & Organizational Change, ISSN 1832-5912, E-ISSN 1839-5473, Vol. 5, no 3, p. 321-343Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explain how and why the initially ambitious reform of the Dutch water sector turned into a moderate pace of change. The explanations are based on institutional theory.

    Design/methodology/approach – This paper is a case study at the organizational field level of the Dutch water sector.

    Findings – In order to enhance efficiency and transparency, Dutch Central Government initially attempted to enforce top-down radical changes, including the formation of integrated water chain companies. However, after discussions and reactions of the interested parties, the central government authorised a bottom-up approach, giving discretional powers to the individual water organizations. This transition to a bottom-up approach can mainly be explained by the limited pressure exerted by the central government to change and the powerful position of the relevant organizations within the water sector, as well as their ability to establish strong coalitions to avoid mandatory radical changes.

    Research limitations/implications – The theoretical background is useful in analysing thechange processes in other public sectors.

    Practical implications – The Dutch way of consensus seeking might be threatened by its own inertia, and in the case of ineffectiveness, it could be replaced by a more top-down and radical reformpackage.

    Originality/value – Unravelling public sector reform into goals, means and approaches is useful, because although goals can remain the same during the change process, the means and approachesmay be altered. Resistance to radical changes might stimulate convergent change options, such as reinforcement of the existing means of reform and may also decrease the embededdness and impermeability of the institutional fields.

  • 13.
    Argento, Daniela
    et al.
    University of Siena, Italy.
    van Helden, Jan Gerrit
    University of Groningen, The Netherlands.
    Water sector reform in Italy and in the Netherlands: ambitious change with an uncertain outcome versus consensus-seeking moderate change2010In: International Review of Administrative Sciences, ISSN 0020-8523, E-ISSN 1461-7226, Vol. 76, no 4, p. 790-809Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article aims at analysing the commonalities and differences in recent water sector reforms in Italy and in the Netherlands. The reforms in both countries are characterized by similar goals of achieving greater transparency and efficiency, and comparable governance ideas regarding the establishment of integrated water companies. However, there appears to be a gap between the reforms as initially intended and the way in which they were realized. Although the reform idea of forming integrated water companies has been maintained in Italy, its realization has been postponed, whereas in the Netherlands this reform idea has been replaced by a bottom-up implementation approach, stimulating cooperation rather than integration projects within the water sector. An assessment of the accomplishment of the reform goals conducted in the Netherlands shows that greater transparency and efficiency have been realized to some extent, whereas in Italy any systematic information on this issue has been unavailable. Our analysis of the reasons for the gaps between the reforms as originally intended and the way in which they have been realized shows some similarities between the two countries in the sense of highly institutionalized practices. There are, however, also substantial differences between these two countries. In Italy, there are no networks of water organizations, which explains the lack of local and regional commitment to the centrally desired changes, resulting in their slow execution. In the Netherlands, these networks are powerful enablers with strong coalitions, which have resisted the compulsory implementation of radical changes.

    Points for practitioners

    The success of a radical water sector reform, which proposes that the current types of organizations be replaced by new types of organizations, is dependent upon the approval of all powerful stakeholders. However, if radical reform is only supported by some of these powerful stakeholders, it is wise to focus mainly on the relevant goals, and have the stakeholders achieve these goals at their own discretion. The reform implementation will benefit from the involvement of stakeholders at the executive level in both the discussions about the reform content and the processes through which this content can be realized.

  • 14.
    Peda, Peeter
    et al.
    Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, University of Tartu.
    Argento, Daniela
    Kristianstad University, School of Health and Society, Avdelningen för Ekonomi.
    Grossi, Giuseppe
    Kristianstad University, School of Health and Society, Avdelningen för Ekonomi.
    Governance and performance of a mixed public-private enterprise: an assessment of a company in the Estonian water sector2013In: Public Organization Review, ISSN 1566-7170, E-ISSN 1573-7098, Vol. 13, no 2, p. 185-196Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Local governments are increasingly entering into partnerships with the private sector in the “externalization” of public service delivery. While the financial and non-financial interests of the partners involved may appear to be in opposition and potentially un-reconcilable, this is not always the case, especially where governance arrangements exist to align and balance the requirements of financial and non-financial performance. Such arrangements are analysed here with reference to Estonia’s largest water company with mixed public-private ownership. It has a business-like management that facilitates a combination of good non-financial performance (quality and affordability) and considerable financial performance (profitability.

  • 15.
    van Helden, Jan
    et al.
    Nederländerna.
    Argento, Daniela
    Kristianstad University, School of Health and Society, Avdelningen för Ekonomi och arbetsliv. Kristianstad University, Research environment Governance, Regulation, Internationalization and Performance (GRIP.
    Caperchione, Eugenio
    Italien.
    Caruana, Josette
    Malta.
    Editorial: politicians and accounting information - a marriage of convenience?2016In: Public Money & Management, ISSN 0954-0962, E-ISSN 1467-9302, Vol. 36, no 7, p. 473-476Article in journal (Refereed)
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