How street-level misconduct happens: deploying references to complex routines as a coping strategy with detrimental consequences

Przemysław Hensel*, Peter Makowski

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


It has long been recognized that overwhelmed employees of bureaucratic organizations use a variety of strategies to cope with demand for their services, often at the expense of their clients. One such strategy involves discouraging clients from taking action by making references to complex bureaucratic procedures and routines. While the public management literature has a well-developed research program focusing on the mobilization of such administrative burdens, organization theory seems to be lagging behind in the analysis of that type of misconduct. In this chapter, we explain how references to the representational dimension of routines can be used to discourage clients from taking action, what are the boundary conditions of such a strategy, and its possible consequences for clients.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOrganizational wrongdoing as the “foundational” grand challenge: definitions and antecedents
EditorsClaudia Gabbioneta , Marco Clemente , Royston Greenwood
Place of PublicationBingley
PublisherEmerald Publishing
ISBN (Electronic)9781837532780
ISBN (Print)9781837532797
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jul 2023

Publication series

NameResearch in the Sociology of Organizations
ISSN (Print)0733-558X

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