Bureaucratic Red Tape and Organizational Performance: Testing the Moderating Role of Culture and Political Support

La Follette School Working Paper No. 2005-026

38 Pages Posted: 6 Dec 2005

See all articles by Sanjay K. Pandey

Sanjay K. Pandey

George Washington University - Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration

Donald P. Moynihan

Georgetown University - McCourt School of Public Policy

Date Written: 2005

Abstract

While most real world efforts to improve the effectiveness of government agencies target bureaucratic red tape, academic work has not attempted to understand and develop the implications of red tape for agency performance. This paper builds upon developments in the performance management and red tape literatures to propose and test a model of performance that explicitly accounts for red tape. First, we seek to confirm the frequently asserted claim that red tape has a negative affect on organizational performance. Our findings show that bureaucratic red tape in human resource systems and information systems impede performance. Second, we seek to make a theoretical contribution by arguing that the nature of the organizational culture impacts how red tape affects performance. Our findings also show that organizations with a developmental culture (characterized by flexibility, readiness, adaptability and growth) are better able to deal with negative effects of red tape than organizations that lack these cultural characteristics.

Keywords: red tape, organizational culture, performance

JEL Classification: l20

Suggested Citation

Pandey, Sanjay K. and Moynihan, Donald P., Bureaucratic Red Tape and Organizational Performance: Testing the Moderating Role of Culture and Political Support (2005). La Follette School Working Paper No. 2005-026, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=867124 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.867124

Sanjay K. Pandey

George Washington University - Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration ( email )

805 21st Street, NW
Suite 601
Washington, DC 20052
United States

Donald P. Moynihan (Contact Author)

Georgetown University - McCourt School of Public Policy ( email )

Old North, Suite 100
37th & O Streets NW
Washington, DC 20057
United States

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