Budgetary stewardship, innovation and working culture: Identifying the missing ingredient in English and Welsh local authorities’ recipes for austerity management

Laurence Ferry, Hugh Coombs, Peter Mark Eckersley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Drawing on fieldwork with 70 local authorities in England and Wales, this article builds on previous studies of austerity management by highlighting the importance of organisational cultures to achieving strategic objectives. It finds that, in line with their prevailing “belief system” of budgetary stewardship, local authorities in both countries are holding down input costs to deal with austerity. However, the scale of funding cuts means this strategy is unlikely to be successful over the longer term. Instead, they need greater freedom to generate revenue, in order to facilitate innovation and develop more sustainable business practices and service models.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)220-243
JournalFinancial Accountability and Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2017

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© 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy. Further copying may not be permitted; contact the publisher for details


  • local government
  • austerity
  • England and Wales
  • levers of control
  • management control systems

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