IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Blocking and Accepting Steering from Ministers and Departments. Coping Strategies of Agencies in Flanders

Listed author(s):




This article analyzes the relationships that exist between semi-autonomous agencies, departments and ministers. In theory, agencies have a significant amount of autonomy. However, in practice, this autonomy seems to be hollowed out by both ministers and departments. Politicians no longer are committed to agencification reform in Flanders and attempt to re-centralize. Departments hold a bureaucratic mentality and treat agencies as being lower in rank. However, what emerges from the findings discovered here is that agencies do not accept this passively. Over time, they have developed tactics to ensure their own autonomy. They depict departments as being incompetent and untrustworthy, and even manage to bypass them. Due to the low-level interest of ministers, they manage to shape the reform to their own objectives. These problems can be best described using theories of trust. This analysis suggests that both structural and contextual factors create distrust between agencies, departments and ministers.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration in its series Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium with number 07/431.

in new window

Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2007
Handle: RePEc:rug:rugwps:07/431
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Hoveniersberg 4, B-9000 Gent

Phone: ++ 32 (0) 9 264 34 61
Fax: ++ 32 (0) 9 264 35 92
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

in new window

  1. J. Rommel & J. Christiaens & C. Devos, 2005. "Rhetorics of Reform : The Case of New Public Management as a Paradigm Shift," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 05/354, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
  2. Colin Talbot, 2004. "Executive Agencies: Have They Improved Management in Government?," Public Money & Management, Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, vol. 24(2), pages 104-112, April.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:rug:rugwps:07/431. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Nathalie Verhaeghe)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.