Street level discretion, personal motives, and social embeddedness within public service ecosystems

Stephen Knox, Norin Arshed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

Drawing on the sense of community responsibility concept, we explore the enterprise policy ecosystem in an extensive qualitative study of Scotland. We present a processual model which explains how policies are shaped in an on-going dynamic through street-level managers' individual agency. Our findings reveal that driving the process is an interplay between personal motives (compassion, relational strength, esteem, coherence) with a social frame of reference (policy group, locality, public organization) which is based on embeddedness within specific policy contexts. This interplay guides how managers translate policy as either an opportunity or a threat which then directs how they enact their discretion to adapt, advocate change, or resist implementation. This process offers an explanation as to how situated value is created for specific policy areas within public service ecosystems. The implications are discussed in relation to the existing literature on policy implementation.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
JournalPublic Administration Review
Early online date2 Nov 2023
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2 Nov 2023

Keywords

  • street level discretion
  • sense of community responsibility
  • policy implementation
  • public service ecosystem
  • enterprise policy

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