Research in public administration (PA) is preoccupied with questions of efficiency and effectiveness which are aimed at improving public sector performance. According to the new public management approach, addressing this prominent challenge must rely upon a comprehensive understanding of citizens'/clients' perceptions of public sector operation and the extent to which public organizations are aware of public needs. This paper suggests a theoretical grounding and empirical examination of the relationship between citizens' demands and PA's responsiveness. Participants in the study were 281 residents of a large Israeli city who reported their feelings, attitudes, and perceptions of local government activities in a variety of fields. Results indicate that perceptions of PA's responsiveness are affected by both policy and cultural factors (for example business or social orientation of the public authority, entrepreneurship and initiation of changes, ethics, organizational politics) and by the quality of the human resource system and of public servants (for example quality of leadership and management, quality of employees, general stress when contacting public officials). Implications of the study are discussed in light of the ongoing debate regarding the need for a more responsive and efficient new public management and the difficulties it faces in western societies.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science
- Public Administration