Research Handbook on Street-Level Bureaucracy
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Research Handbook on Street-Level Bureaucracy

The Ground Floor of Government in Context

Edited by Peter Hupe

When the objectives of public policy programmes have been formulated and decided upon, implementation seems just a matter of following instructions. However, it is underway to the realization of those objectives that public policies get their final substance and form. Crucial is what happens in and around the encounter between public officials and individual citizens at the street level of government bureaucracy. This Research Handbook addresses the state of the art while providing a systematic exploration of the theoretical and methodological issues apparent in the study of street-level bureaucracy and how to deal with them.
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Chapter 19: Mixed-methods designs in street-level bureaucracy research

Carina Schott and Daphne van Kleef

Abstract

Mixed-methods research has often been presented as a way to overcome the biggest shortcoming of traditional street-level bureaucracy research: its lack of generalizability without losing important contextual information. Nevertheless, the use of multiple methods is still very limited. After providing an overview of the most commonly used mixed-methods research designs, this chapter addresses the question of why mixed-methods research is not employed more frequently, and how we can overcome at least some of the challenges related to street-level bureaucracy research. The authors demonstrate that these challenges mainly result from the great complexity of mixed-methods designs forcing researchers to make trade-offs. The chapter concludes with a discussion on whether the Public Administration community is ready for mixed-methods research in the first place.

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