Street-level Bureaucrats: Can they deliver?

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Title Street-level Bureaucrats: Can they deliver?
Author Brunetto, Yvonne; Farr-Wharton, Rod; Shacklock, Kate Herring
Publication Title BAM Conference Proceedings
Editor Lew Perren, Brighton Business School
Year Published 2009
Place of publication UK
Publisher British Academy of Management
Abstract This paper used Social Exchange Theory as a lens for examining the impact of the supervisor-subordinate relationship on different types of street-level bureaucrats' (SLB) perceptions of autonomy and in turn, role clarity. The findings challenge Lipsky's (1980) theory about the autonomy of Australian SLBs because nurse and police SLBs felt only somewhat autonomous in the workplace. Moreover, they are at best only slightly satisfied with their supervision but their supervision practices significantly affect their perceptions of autonomy as well as their levels of role clarity. The findings therefore indicate that present management practices are not ideal for promoting effective workplace relationships or for addressing the current skills shortage. By contrast, private sector nurses were found to have comparatively higher levels of satisfaction with supervisor-subordinate relationships and therefore of autonomy and consequently, of role clarity. The implications for public sector managers responsible for ensuring SLBs do have the conditions in place to deliver appropriate services to the Australian public are discussed.
Peer Reviewed Yes
Published Yes
Publisher URI
Copyright Statement Copyright 2009 BAM. The attached file is posted here in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher, for your personal use only. No further distribution permitted. Use hypertext link for access to publisher's website.
ISBN 0-9549608-5-8
Conference name British Academy of Management (BAM2009)
Location Brighton, UK
Date From 2009-09-15
Date To 2009-09-17
Date Accessioned 2010-02-24
Language en_AU
Faculty Griffith Business School
Subject Human Resources Management
Publication Type Conference Publications (Full Written Paper - Refereed)
Publication Type Code e1

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