Organizational Trust and Accountability Reforms in Public Management: Analysis of Inter-Agency Implementation Relations in Kenya
International Journal of Public Administration DOI: 10.1080/01900692.2019.1575856
Posted: 26 Jul 2018 Last revised: 5 Mar 2019
Date Written: July 3, 2018
Contemporary governments have persistently responded to accruing implementation blind-spots by further restructuration of public bureaucracies. This has come with increased agencification and coordination efforts to enhance organizational efficacy and to produce trust for legitimation purposes. Accountability reforms in particular rarely address non-formal implementation processes that seem to characterize these efforts, mainly, inter-organizational trust. This is despite mounting evidences on the centrality of organizational trust in collaborative implementation processes of policy reforms. Basing on qualitative data from Kenya, this paper explores the production of organizational trust and its influence on the implementation environments for accountability reforms between oversight and governmental institutions. Data indicate that common difficulties in collaborative-implementation framework like fragile horizontal accountability-relations, misinterpretations of authority, obsession with control and autonomy, poor organizational-communication mechanisms, public trust deficits, poor internalization and institutionalization, etc. also correspond to problems of organizational trust. So, it is suggested that besides building public and interpersonnel trust, a policy design should also device steps that can strengthen internal-accountability systems, reduce some forms of bureaucratic slackness, enhance interorganizational communication and justice systems. This should improve inter-agency trust and ease cultural-instrumental tensions typical in collaborative implementation relations common in modern public administration.
Keywords: networked bureaucracy; organizational relationships; organizational communication; organizational behavior
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