Organizational environments and public-service failure: An empirical analysis

Rhys Andrews*, George A. Boyne

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Organizational failure in the public sector is an increasingly topical issue. Media attention to high-profile cases of dysfunction has been matched by vigorous government determination to identify and remedy perceived weaknesses in the provision of public services. Research on organizational environments suggests that poor public-service performance may be the result of external pressures. However, few studies have systematically investigated the effects of the environment on public-service failure. We formalize and test a comprehensive model of the impact of environmental constraints on organizational failure across the public sector in England between 2002 and 2004. The results show that the munificence, complexity, and dynamism of organizational environments are significant predictors of the extent of public-service failure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)788-807
Number of pages20
JournalEnvironment and Planning C: Government and Policy
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2008


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