Street-Level Bureaucrats as Individual Policymakers: The Relationship between Attitudes and Coping Behavior toward Vulnerable Children and Youth

Siddhartha Baviskar, Søren Winter

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftsartikelForskningpeer review

Abstract

Lipsky (1980) pointed out that street-level bureaucrats (SLBs) are
important policymakers due to the discretion they exercise and argued from a structural perspective that these workers manifest relatively similar coping behaviors owing to their shared working conditions, characterized by chronically limited resources and non-voluntary clients. Using data from a national survey of municipal child welfare caseworkers in Denmark, we further develop Lipsky’s theory from an agency perspective by focusing on variation in coping among SLBs and examining the extent to which such variation is explained by SLBs’ attitudes towards the target group, the objectives and content of their jobs, and their perceptions of the capacity of their institutions. We find that SLBs’ aversion to and tolerance of the client group, their perceptions of institutional capacity in terms of municipal resources and local political inefficacy, and their conceptual
modification of job contents are all related to their use of coping.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftInternational Public Management Journal
Vol/bind20
Udgave nummer2
Sider (fra-til)316-353
Antal sider38
ISSN1096-7494
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 2017
Udgivet eksterntJa

Emneord

  • Socialt arbejde og sociale forhold

Citationsformater