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Service Quality in Modern Bureaucracy: Parkinson's Theory at Work

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  • Beate Jochimsen

Abstract

Parkinson's Law states that work expands to fill the time available for its completion and that the number of administrators in an office is bound to increase over time. A unique laboratory to test Parkinson's ideas are vehicle registration offices in Germany. Using their data we found empirical support for Parkinson's Law: First, service quality is no better in offices that have more staff per case. Second, service quality is worse if the service procedure is disaggregated into multiple smaller sub-services. Third, the staff size is a convex function of the number of customers. These results are robust to specifications in various alternative models. Copyright 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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  • Beate Jochimsen, 2009. "Service Quality in Modern Bureaucracy: Parkinson's Theory at Work," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(1), pages 44-64, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:kyklos:v:62:y:2009:i:1:p:44-64
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Walter Buhr, 2009. "Infrastructure of the Market Economy," Volkswirtschaftliche Diskussionsbeiträge 132-09, Universität Siegen, Fakultät Wirtschaftswissenschaften, Wirtschaftsinformatik und Wirtschaftsrecht.
    2. López, Luis & Zúñiga, Roy, 2014. "Dynamics of judicial service supply chains," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 67(7), pages 1447-1454.

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