Serving many masters: public accountability in private policy implementation

Thomann, Eva; Hupe, Peter; Sager, Fritz (2017). Serving many masters: public accountability in private policy implementation. Governance, 31(2), pp. 299-319. Blackwell 10.1111/gove.12297

[img] Text
Thomann, Hupe & Sager_ Serving many masters. Public accountability in private policy implementation.pdf - Published Version
Restricted to registered users only
Available under License Publisher holds Copyright.

Download (1MB) | Request a copy

In recent decades, the introduction of market principles has transformed public service delivery into a hybrid. However, little is known about how these changes are reflected in the attitudes of private implementing agents: The hybridization literature neglects individuals, and street-level bureaucracy research has disregarded hybridization. This article extends Hupe and Hill’s (2007) accountability regimes framework to introduce the market as an additional accountability regime alongside state, profession, and society. Using a configura- tional approach, the article explores how public and private food safety inspectors in Switzerland perceive the multiple norms for behavior stemming from their environment. Results suggest that the plural accountabilities of for-profit street-level bureaucrats can increase the dilemmas involved in their work. Under certain circumstances, for-profit street- level bureaucrats have particular difficulties reconciling rule pressure with market incentives and client demands. The extended accountability regimes framework fruitfully cap- tures such dilemmas and helps identify suitable governance responses.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


11 Centers of Competence > Center of Comptetence for Public Management (KPM)

UniBE Contributor:

Thomann, Eva and Sager, Fritz


300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 330 Economics
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 350 Public administration & military science
600 Technology > 650 Management & public relations








Deborah Anna Fritzsche

Date Deposited:

23 Mar 2018 11:14

Last Modified:

23 Oct 2019 22:37

Publisher DOI:





Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback