The Ground Floor of Government in Context
Edited by Peter Hupe
Chapter 17: Explaining public task performance
How can the expected relationships between what happens at the street level of government bureaucracy and its environment be grounded theoretically? The argument unfolded in this chapter maximizes the heuristic functions of the trinity of governing framework as set out in Chapter 3. In that chapter, a range of ‘multi-level’ approaches were identified. Following up on that exposition, three major types of approaches are highlighted. From each a central hypothesis is derived by making their implicit explanatory claims explicit. The hypotheses focus around, respectively, the impact of similar work circumstances, the difference individual actors make and the reach of hierarchy. Structuring the variety of relevant variables in this way draws attention to questions about the relative weight of factors deemed relevant when trying to position the street level within ‘the bigger picture’.
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