Autonomy and Control of State Agencies: Comparing States and Agencies

Koen Verhoest, Paul G. Roness, Bram Verschuere, Kristin Rubecksen, Muiris MacCarthaigh

    Research output: Book/ReportBook


    Do public organizations with similar tasks or structures differ across states with respect to their autonomy and control? If so, why? By comparing the autonomy, control and internal management of state agencies, this book shows how New Public Management doctrines actually work in three small European states with different politico-administrative regimes. Using a unique set of similar survey data on 226 state agencies in Norway, Ireland and Flanders, this study explains differences in agency autonomy, control and management by referring to international isomorphic pressures, state-specific politico-administrative regimes and characteristics of agencies. Therefore, organization theory and neo-institutional schools are used to formulate four competing theoretical perspectives and hypotheses are tested through simple and advanced statistical techniques. By comparing practices between states and between types of agencies, this study substantially enhances scientific knowledge about why public organizations are granted autonomy, why they are controlled in specific ways, and how autonomy affects internal management.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationBasingstoke
    PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
    Number of pages311
    ISBN (Electronic)9780230277274
    ISBN (Print)9780230577657
    Publication statusPublished - 29 Jan 2010

    Publication series

    NamePublic Sector Organizations

    Bibliographical note

    "This book is a major contribution to the literature on agencification...holds a place among the most important books to appear on agencification this important, convincing and valuable book."
    - West European Politics


    • Autonomy
    • Control
    • Agencies
    • Regulation


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