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If citizens talk back, do administrators listen? A structural equation model of administrative responsiveness to citizens

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Date Issued:
2000
Summary:
This dissertation investigates the potential for discourse between citizens and front-line administrators---those who directly deal with citizens. It focuses on the ability and willingness of public servants to be responsive to citizens with whom they interact. There are two methods of investigation used in this dissertation: theoretical and quantitative. Citizen ability and willingness to participate in this discourse is examined using existing theory. Administrator willingness and ability is examined using theoretical and quantitative methods. The purpose of this dissertation is two-fold. First, it identifies a point of access to administration at which the public is willing and able to participate. In doing so, it attempts to find a point of access and a form of participation that would give able and willing citizens some power in the process. This dissertation examines the concept of citizen "talk back" to administrators at the service delivery stage in public bureaucracies. Second, it examines theoretical assumptions about administrator willingness and ability to act on citizen feedback. According to critiques of technical rational organizations, administrators might be neither willing nor able to process and act upon citizen feedback. First, the dissertation explores the questions of why citizens participate, which citizens participate, how citizens participate, and different manifestations of citizen participation in the field of public administration. Meaningful participation empowers citizens at the same time that it provides information about citizen preferences. Willingness and ability of citizens to participate in the policy and administrative process is essential for meaningful citizen participation. To examine these assumptions, the dissertation presents the results of an analysis of brief interviews with ten citizens. Second, the dissertation explores theoretical arguments about organizational rationality and the effect of the "bureaucratic experience," resulting from administrator-bureaucracy interaction, on administrator willingness to be responsive to citizens. A structural equation model is used to test these theoretical arguments. Data from 147 administrators are collected using a survey instrument of 38 questions. The research results show that the structure of technical rational organizations constrains the ability of administrators to be responsive to citizens. The research also examines the effect of structural enablers, or ability of administrators to respond to citizen talk back, on personal enablers, or the willingness of administrators to respond to citizen talk back.
Title: If citizens talk back, do administrators listen? A structural equation model of administrative responsiveness to citizens.
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Name(s): Alkadry, Mohamad Ghazi
Florida Atlantic University, Degree Grantor
Miller, Hugh T., Thesis Advisor
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Electronic Thesis Or Dissertation
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2000
Publisher: Florida Atlantic University
Place of Publication: Boca Raton, Fla.
Physical Form: application/pdf
Extent: 169 p.
Language(s): English
Summary: This dissertation investigates the potential for discourse between citizens and front-line administrators---those who directly deal with citizens. It focuses on the ability and willingness of public servants to be responsive to citizens with whom they interact. There are two methods of investigation used in this dissertation: theoretical and quantitative. Citizen ability and willingness to participate in this discourse is examined using existing theory. Administrator willingness and ability is examined using theoretical and quantitative methods. The purpose of this dissertation is two-fold. First, it identifies a point of access to administration at which the public is willing and able to participate. In doing so, it attempts to find a point of access and a form of participation that would give able and willing citizens some power in the process. This dissertation examines the concept of citizen "talk back" to administrators at the service delivery stage in public bureaucracies. Second, it examines theoretical assumptions about administrator willingness and ability to act on citizen feedback. According to critiques of technical rational organizations, administrators might be neither willing nor able to process and act upon citizen feedback. First, the dissertation explores the questions of why citizens participate, which citizens participate, how citizens participate, and different manifestations of citizen participation in the field of public administration. Meaningful participation empowers citizens at the same time that it provides information about citizen preferences. Willingness and ability of citizens to participate in the policy and administrative process is essential for meaningful citizen participation. To examine these assumptions, the dissertation presents the results of an analysis of brief interviews with ten citizens. Second, the dissertation explores theoretical arguments about organizational rationality and the effect of the "bureaucratic experience," resulting from administrator-bureaucracy interaction, on administrator willingness to be responsive to citizens. A structural equation model is used to test these theoretical arguments. Data from 147 administrators are collected using a survey instrument of 38 questions. The research results show that the structure of technical rational organizations constrains the ability of administrators to be responsive to citizens. The research also examines the effect of structural enablers, or ability of administrators to respond to citizen talk back, on personal enablers, or the willingness of administrators to respond to citizen talk back.
Identifier: 9780599666757 (isbn), 12634 (digitool), FADT12634 (IID), fau:9517 (fedora)
Note(s): Thesis (Ph.D.)--Florida Atlantic University, 2000.
Subject(s): Public administration--Citizen participation
Political participation
Bureaucracy
Held by: Florida Atlantic University Libraries
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/fcla/dt/12634
Sublocation: Digital Library
Use and Reproduction: Copyright © is held by the author with permission granted to Florida Atlantic University to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Use and Reproduction: http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/
Host Institution: FAU
Is Part of Series: Florida Atlantic University Digital Library Collections.