The bureaucracy-democracy tango: A dual-source empirical revalidation by structural equation modelling in the Israeli public sector

Eran Vigoda-Gadot, Shlomo Mizrahi, Rotem Miller-Mor, Eyal Tevet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

The relationship between bureaucracy and democracy in modern nations has gained the attention of scholars and experts worldwide. This article uses the allegory of a tango dance to illuminate core pandemics of the bureaucracy-democracy interface. First, we propose a theoretical model that relates these arenas in the public realm. The model is then tested empirically based on four in-depth field studies of Israeli public sector organisations (in the fields of public energy, healthcare, policing and local governance). The studies were conducted simultaneously and were based on both qualitative and quantitative data collected in the intra-organisational and extra-organisational arenas. Respondents were 159 public sector personnel and 158 citizens who received services from the same organisations. Data were analysed with a structural equation modelling (SEM) technique. The findings reconfirmed a solid positive relationship between elements of an effective bureaucracy and segments of an active democracy. Moreover, strongest support was found for a mediating model where perceived performance mediated the bureaucratic-democratic relationship. Implications of the findings are discussed in both the intra- and extra-organisational context.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)431-448
Number of pages18
JournalPolicy and Politics
Volume36
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2008

Keywords

  • Bureucracy
  • Democracy
  • Performance
  • Structural equation modelling

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