Conflictual Accountability: Behavioral Responses to Conflictual Accountability of Agencies

Thomas Schillemans*, Sjors Overman, Paul Fawcett, Matthew Flinders, Magnus Fredriksson, Per Laegreid, Martino Maggetti, Yannis Papadopoulos, Kristin Rubecksen, Lise H. Rykkja, Heidi Houlberg Salomonsen, Amanda Smullen, Koen Verhoest, Matthew Wood

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


In contemporary public governance, leaders of public organizations are faced with multiple, and oftentimes conflictual, accountability claims. Drawing upon a survey of CEO’s of agencies in seven countries, we explore whether and how conflictual accountability regimes relate to strategic behaviors by agency-CEO’s and their political principals. The presence of conflictual accountability is experienced as a major challenge and is associated with important behavioral responses by those CEO’s. This article demonstrates empirically how conflictual accountability is related to (a) controlling behaviors by principals, (b) constituency building behaviors by agencies, and (c) a general pattern of intensified contacts and information processing by both parties.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1232-1262
Number of pages31
JournalAdministration and Society
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2021


  • accountability
  • agencies
  • conflictual accountability
  • governance


Dive into the research topics of 'Conflictual Accountability: Behavioral Responses to Conflictual Accountability of Agencies'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this