Representative bureaucracy, organizational strategy, and public service performance: An empirical analysis of english local government

Rhys Andrews, George A. Boyne, Kenneth J. Meier, Laurence J. O'Toole, Richard M. Walker

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

155 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The theory of representative bureaucracy suggests that organizations perform better if their workforces reflect the characteristics of their constituent populations. The management literature implies that the impact of representative bureaucracy is contingent on organizational strategy. Our empirical evidence on English local government is inconsistent with the basic theory of representative bureaucracy but supports a moderating effect of organizational strategy. Representative bureaucracy is negatively associated with citizens' perceptions of local authority performance. However, organizations pursuing a prospector strategy are able to mitigate this negative relationship.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)489-504
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Public Administration Research and Theory
Volume15
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2005

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to thank the participants in the ‘‘Determinants of Performance in Public Organizations Seminar’’ for their thoughtful comments. George Boyne and Richard Walker would like to acknowledge the support of the Economic and Social Research Council/Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council Advanced Institute for Management Research under grant numbers 331-25-0004 and 331-25-006, respectively. Address correspondence to Rhys Andrews at [email protected].

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