Drivers of autonomy of public agencies in Italy

Barbieri, Dario, Fedele, Paolo, Galli, Davide and Ongaro, Edoardo (2013) Drivers of autonomy of public agencies in Italy. Financial Accountability and Management, 29 (1). pp. 26-49. ISSN 0267-4424

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/faam.12001

Abstract

The creation of agencies has been and still is a widespread trend in the public sector: governments in many countries often establish semi-autonomous single-purpose organizations to carry out a wide range of functions and tasks. The trend to autonomization is problematic as it affects public sector's governance: several bodies operate partly autonomously from the core elective government, and are sometimes loosely coupled with their ‘parent’ administration. Consequently, analysing the drivers of agencies’ autonomy is a crucial issue for public management. This paper, in the light of some major contributions in organizational science, assumes that agencies’ autonomy is influenced by factors that affect post-delegation relationships: agencies’ structure, culture and nature of the tasks executed. The study was aimed at testing a range of hypotheses about the autonomy of public agencies, using for this purpose the so-far not investigated case of Italy–much in the spirit of the accumulation of knowledge in an area of public management. Results do not provide any strikingly counter-intuitive finding, but a mix of confirmations and disconfirmations of previous findings that allow a finer-grained analysis on the determinants of agency autonomy.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: agency autonomy, public management
Subjects: L200 Politics
L400 Social Policy
N200 Management studies
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > School of Arts and Social Sciences > Social Sciences
Depositing User: Edoardo Ongaro
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2014 10:20
Last Modified: 10 Aug 2015 11:03
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/15306

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