An exploratory study of the practice of corporate planning and programme budgeting in the Government of the Kingdom of Tonga: evidence from a central government agency
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Commerce
Purpose – This research explores how corporate planning and programme budgeting are practised by the Government of the Kingdom of Tonga, focussing on their application by a central government agency, the Office of the Public Service Commission (OPSC). It addresses how corporate planning and budgeting are linked in their practice by government agencies in Tonga and why.
Design/methodology/approach – A qualitative approach is used to conduct an exploratory study of how OPSC practised corporate planning and programme budgeting during the 2015/2016 financial year1 (FY). An interpretivist methodology is used to analyse both primary and secondary data that were gathered using primarily a method indigenous to Pacific research known as talanoa. Literature review, participant observation, and document analysis were used to supplement data from talanoa.
Findings – The practice of corporate planning and budgeting by the Government of Tonga varies from the extensive applications documented in Western literature. Those involved in their practice are concerned with some but not all aspects of the processes depending on their positions and roles. While external consultants continually express frustrations with slow progress, indigenous government officials are somewhat confident that a lot of progress has been made. The research highlights that in the continuation of the use of corporate planning and budgeting, it must respond to prevailing needs of the country.
Originality/value – There seems to be a lack of consideration of specific contexts (e.g. existing regulations, systems etc.) in the introduction and development of concepts, ideas and processes foreign to small island countries. An example is the practice of accounting and management practices termed corporate planning and programme budgeting into the Government of Tonga. There has not been any research conducted on this in the context of the Kingdom of Tonga. The research compares Western ideologies with Tongan indigenous views.