Government, Accounting and Change in Italian Universitis


The paper is aimed at investigating the extent to which quantification transformed ways of governing and control in the public services, particularly in universities. To that aim we took into account the recent public sector accounting reform in Italy with a particular focus on its effects in on universities. In this context, the introduction of new accounting technologies was claimed to made it possible to articulate and operationalize the notions of efficiency of the entire university domain. In this vein, the new technologies represent the ways to introduce new programs of government. Findings demonstrates that universities reform in Italy on one hand produced to a strong emphasis on accounting technologies, rules and figures imposed by the law, without a strong connection with the claimed efficiency; on the other hand, people involved in the change process find difficulties in following the new rules/technologies, feeling to produce numbers without understanding the mining and the end of such effort.

Key-Words: Public Sector Administration, Accounting, public sector reform, change, subjectivity, universities