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An Ethnographer among Street-Level Bureaucrats and New Public Management


  • Jean-Marc Weller


Among the many ways of studying public administration, one orientation among social research has been gradually established: observing bureaucrats at work. Such a perspective can be seen to have two aims: a better understanding of the crucial role front-line employees can play in the daily delivery of public goods, and an empirical mapping of the different public organizations experiencing new public management measures. With an ethnographic approach based on French Administration cases and inspired particularly by science and technology studiesand workplace studies, this paper focuses on these different points.

Suggested Citation

  • Jean-Marc Weller, 2012. "An Ethnographer among Street-Level Bureaucrats and New Public Management," Working Papers CEB 12-033, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  • Handle: RePEc:sol:wpaper:2013/132998

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Karl E. Weick & Kathleen M. Sutcliffe & David Obstfeld, 2005. "Organizing and the Process of Sensemaking," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 16(4), pages 409-421, August.
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    More about this item


    Bureaucracy; civil service; public administration; new public management;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • H83 - Public Economics - - Miscellaneous Issues - - - Public Administration

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