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The Role of Contextual Factors in the Influence of ICT on Street-Level Discretion

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Title:The Role of Contextual Factors in the Influence of ICT on Street-Level Discretion
Authors:Busch, Peter André
Street-Level Bureaucracy
Date Issued:04 Jan 2017
Abstract:Public service workers in the frontline have traditionally enjoyed a wide freedom to make decisions during policy implementation. Research shows that technology has both constraining and enabling effects on public service workers affecting their ability to exercise discretion. What remains unclear is under which circumstances discretion is influenced by technology. Using a case study approach and drawing on neo-institutional theory, this paper studies a court to identify contextual factors affecting the phenomenon. Findings show that technology has no unilateral effect on street-level discretion, and is found moderated by contextual factors such as the degree of social complexity in a case, skills possessed by public service workers, and the need for face-to-face contact. Furthermore, the influence of technology on street-level discretion depends on the technology in use.
Pages/Duration:10 pages
Rights:Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
Appears in Collections: Transformational Government: Governance, Organization, and Management Minitrack

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