Forensic Acculturation for Accountability in Local Governments: A Design Science Approach for School Leaders and Citizens

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Department or Administrative Unit


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Using design science methodology, this article describes a field-tested model of forensic accountants assisting average citizens in improving local governmental accountability and the provision of services via forensic acculturation. While most citizens lack the skills of forensic accountants, citizens have several traits that make them uniquely capable of detecting unhealthy financial behaviors. The field research uncovered systematic patterns of citizens being stymied in moving from the “being aware stage” to the “making improvements” or “holding accountable” stages. We label the patterns of being stymied as 10 Ds (delay, deflect, distort, etc.). We also discovered more successful individuals using behaviors we label the 3 Ps (polite, persistent, and professional) that are common traits among forensic experts. We provide case study evidence of the effects of citizen training and consultation processes, and refine a teaching tool (“3 Ps and 10 Ds”) for use in further field tests.


This article was originally published in Journal of Forensic Accounting Research. The full-text article from the publisher can be found here.

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Journal of Forensic Accounting Research