Which Clients Inspire or Reduce the Trust of Street-Level Bureaucrats?

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Which types of clients increase or decrease the trust of street-level bureaucrats (SLBs)? Using interviews and focus groups with two groups of Israeli social service providers—teachers and social workers—and comparing them, —we develop a theoretical framework for determining the types of clients who evoke and reduce the trust of SLBs. Our findings indicate that there are seven types of clients who inspire or diminish this trust: —cooperative, honest, familiar, benevolent, aggressive, open, and manipulative. We discuss the significance of our findings for the implementation and outcome of public policy and suggest several avenues for future research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1516-1541
Number of pages26
JournalAdministration and Society
Issue number8
StatePublished - Sep 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2021.


  • discretion
  • social service providers
  • street-level bureaucrats
  • trust

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration
  • Marketing


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