Accountability Based On Giddens's Structuration Theory

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Research strategy This study investigates accountability based on Giddens 's structuration theory (1984) and assumes that reality is socially constructed (Berger & Luckmann, 1969), bounded by time and space, and that individuals are knowledgeable. These assumptions lead to the use of an interpretivist approach (Denzin & Lincoln, 2000; Lincoln & Guba, 2000; Yanow, 2000) that assumes social reality is multifaceted and difficult to explain using immanent rules (Giddens, 1984; Turner, 1986). As such, sensitizing concepts (Blumer, 1969; Giddens, 1984) that match the underlying assumption of the study will be used instead of definitive concepts. Definitive concepts “provide prescriptions of what to see, sensitizing concepts merely suggest directions along which to look” (Blumer, 1969, p.148). Giddens (1984) suggests the duality of structure, people 's knowledgeability, reflexive monitoring, and time-space as sensitizing concepts. Using Giddens’s conceptual apparatus to develop and test propositions is challenging and could even be seen as perverse, in light of Giddens’s express disavowal of the positivist project of proposing universal laws of society and using a hypothesis-testing, falsification approach to assessing their validity. But Giddens’s non-law “sensitizing concepts” and attendant conceptual apparatus and elaboration do contain a number of fairly direct propositions (as pointed out by Turner [1986]. So it does not really seem like such a great stretch after all to

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