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Governance Mechanisms in Public Agencies: the Italian Practice in an International Perspective


  • Alessandro Giosi

    () (Università degli Studi di Roma "Tor Vergata")

  • Silvia Testarmata

    () (Università degli Studi di Roma "Tor Vergata")

  • Sandro Brunelli

    () (Università degli Studi di Roma "Tor Vergata")


New Public Management calls for a clear division between politics and the administration, where the former undertakes strategic planning and defines economic targets and the latter is responsible for public service management. In this context, the agency theory underlines a risk of incoherence between administrative action and political target achievement. This paper aims to analyse the governance mechanisms and the related accountability requirement in order to investigate if there is a conflict between the autonomy of public agencies and political target achievement. In particular, according to a multiple case study analysis, this paper considers three Italian public agencies: Revenue Agency, Social Security National Institute and National Procurement Agency (CONSIP). The research identifies the variables characterizing the relationship between politics and administration and shows the conditions that allow an autonomous public agency to move in a coherent manner along with political targets.

Suggested Citation

  • Alessandro Giosi & Silvia Testarmata & Sandro Brunelli, 2010. "Governance Mechanisms in Public Agencies: the Italian Practice in an International Perspective," DSI Essays Series, DSI - Dipartimento di Studi sull'Impresa, vol. 10.
  • Handle: RePEc:tov:dsiess:v:10:y:2010

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    4. Harvey James, 1999. "Owner as Manager, Extended Horizons and the Family Firm," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(1), pages 41-55.
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    7. John H Dunning, 1988. "The Eclectic Paradigm of International Production: A Restatement and Some Possible Extensions," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 19(1), pages 1-31, March.
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    More about this item


    Agency Theory; Governance; Politics-Administration Relationship; Public Agency;

    JEL classification:

    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • H50 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - General
    • H70 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - General
    • H83 - Public Economics - - Miscellaneous Issues - - - Public Administration
    • L31 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Nonprofit Institutions; NGOs; Social Entrepreneurship


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