Dealing with hybridization in street-level bureaucracy research

Tanja Klenk, Nissim Cohen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


As a result of several waves of public sector reforms, street-level bureaucrats have to cope with an increasingly hybrid working environment. New governance models have been layered on top of already existing models: ideas of privatized and managerialized service delivery, grounded in the New Public Management paradigm, co-exist with ideas of collaboration and co-production featured by the New Public Governance model. Thus, street-level bureaucrats are confronted with conflicting and often contradictory values and rationalities in their working environment. This chapter explores the implications this increasing ambiguity has for the conceptualization and research of street-level bureaucracy and suggests studying street-level bureaucracy through the analytical lens of a hybridity approach. The main argument put forward is that typologies and frameworks developed in this strand of literature allow us to disentangle hybridity, to better capture the divergence of the responses of street-level bureaucrats towards institutional pluralism and to understand variation in policy outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResearch Handbook on Street-Level Bureaucracy
Subtitle of host publicationThe Ground Floor of Government in Context
EditorsPeter Hupe
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing Ltd.
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781786437631
ISBN (Print)9781786437624
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2019

Publication series

NameHandbooks of Research on Public Policy series

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Peter Hupe 2019.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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