Information Technology, Accountability, and Information Stewardship

Information Technology, Accountability, and Information Stewardship

Bruce Rocheleau (Northern Illinois University, USA)
Copyright: © 2006 |Pages: 43
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-807-9.ch011


Over the past two decades, there has been an unabated demand for more accountabilityfrom public organizations. The term “accountability” is employed with a variety ofdifferent meanings. I view the purpose of these assessments as responsiveness to publicor external values. As Meijer (2001, p. 234) points out, accountability is a practice ratherthan an outcome. The essence of accountability is the idea that an individual ororganization “is held to answer for performance” and public organizations should beresponsive to the values of their customers (Meijer, 2001, p. 259). For example, we do notwant to allow professors to over-concentrate on research and ignore teaching, so nowmany states require that institutions prove that students are achieving their goals, suchas obtaining jobs and passing professional examinations. In other words, the purposeof accountability mechanisms is to achieve responsiveness to external values held bythe public and the constituencies served by public agencies. Although most account-ability reports tend to emphasize quantitative performance measures, qualitative assess-ments of the adequacy of performance may also be used to achieve responsiveness

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