Is output performance all about the resources? A fuzzy-set Qualitative Comparative Analysis of street-level bureaucrats in Switzerland

Thomann, Eva (2015). Is output performance all about the resources? A fuzzy-set Qualitative Comparative Analysis of street-level bureaucrats in Switzerland. Public administration, 93(1), pp. 177-194. Wiley-Blackwell 10.1111/padm.12130

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This article refines Lipsky’s (1980) assertion that lacking resources negatively affect output performance. It uses fuzzy-set Qualitative Comparative Analysis to analyse the nuanced interplay of contextual and individual determinants of the output performance of veterinary inspectors as street-level bureaucrats in Switzerland. Moving ‘beyond Lipsky’, the study builds on recent theoretical contributions and a systematic comparison across organizational contexts. Against a widespread assumption, output performance is not all about the resources. The impact of perceived available resources hinges on caseloads, which prove to be more decisive. These contextual factors interact with individual attitudes emerging from diverse public accountabilities. The results contextualize the often-emphasized importance of worker-client interaction. In a setting where clients cannot escape the interaction, street-level bureaucrats are not primarily held accountable by them. Studies of output performance should thus sensibly consider gaps between what is being demanded of and offered to street-level bureaucrats, and the latter’s multiple embeddedness.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

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

UniBE Contributor:

Thomann, Eva

Subjects:

300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 320 Political science
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 350 Public administration & military science

ISSN:

0033-3298

Publisher:

Wiley-Blackwell

Language:

English

Submitter:

Eva Thomann

Date Deposited:

12 Sep 2014 10:23

Last Modified:

28 Mar 2015 14:49

Publisher DOI:

10.1111/padm.12130

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.58537

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/58537

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