Title
The study of organisational autonomy : a conceptual review
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Social Sciences. Political Sciences
Publication type
article
Publication
Chichester ,
Subject
Politics
Source (journal)
Public administration and development. - Chichester
Volume/pages
24(2004) :2 , p. 101-118
ISSN
0271-2075
ISI
000221485500003
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Abstract
We argue that contemporary research on the influence of organisational autonomy on performance in public organisations uses a diverse and a too restrictive conceptualisation of autonomy. After discussing that research, the article develops six dimensions of the concept of autonomy in public organisations. Second, weaknesses of contemporary research are shown by confronting their conceptualisations with the developed taxonomy. Third, data from a survey of Flemish public organisations illuminate the need to acknowledge the six different dimensions of autonomy when studying the effect of autonomy on performance. The empirical material points at the dangers of using formallegal status of a public organisation as an indicator of its autonomy, given substantial heterogeneity of organisations with the same formallegal status on each dimension of autonomy. Moreover, tensions between different levels of autonomy appear in practice, indicating the need for a combined and integrated study of the effects of the different dimensions of autonomy on performance
E-info
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