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
Date Written: 2005
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: Suggested Citation