Centralization, Organizational Strategy, and Public Service Performance

Posted: 31 Dec 2008

See all articles by Rhys Andrews

Rhys Andrews

Cardiff University - Cardiff Business School

George Boyne

Cardiff University - Cardiff Business School

Jennifer Law

University of Glamorgan - School of Humanities and Social Sciences

Richard M. Walker

The University of Hong Kong

Date Written: January 2009

Abstract

We test the separate and joint effects of centralization and organizational strategy on the performance of 53 UK public service organizations. Centralization is measured as both the hierarchy of authority and the degree of participation in decision making, whereas strategy is measured as the extent to which service providers are prospectors, defenders, and reactors. We find that centralization has no independent effect on service performance, even when controlling for prior performance, service expenditure, and external constraints. However, the impact of centralization is contingent on the strategic orientation of organizations. Centralized decision making works best in conjunction with defending, and decentralized decision making works best in organizations that emphasize prospecting.

Suggested Citation

Andrews, Rhys and Boyne, George and Law, Jennifer and Walker, Richard Mark, Centralization, Organizational Strategy, and Public Service Performance (January 2009). Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, Vol. 19, Issue 1, pp. 57-80, 2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1318120 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jopart/mum039

Rhys Andrews (Contact Author)

Cardiff University - Cardiff Business School ( email )

Aberconway Building
Colum Road
Cardiff, Wales CF10 3EU
United Kingdom
+44 (0)29 2087 6014 (Phone)
+44 (0)29 2087 6014 (Fax)

George Boyne

Cardiff University - Cardiff Business School ( email )

Aberconway Building
Colum Drive
Cardiff, CF10 3EU
United Kingdom
+ 44 (0) 29 20 875572 (Phone)
+ 44 (0)29 20874419 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.cf.ac.uk/carbs/hrm/boyne.html

Jennifer Law

University of Glamorgan - School of Humanities and Social Sciences ( email )

Pontypridd CF37 1DL, Wales
United Kingdom
+44 (0) 1443 482303 (Phone)
+44 (0) 1443 482380 (Fax)

Richard Mark Walker

The University of Hong Kong ( email )

Pokfulam Road
Hong Kong, HK
China

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