Publication type: Article in scientific journal
Type of review: Peer review (publication)
Title: The impact of department structure on policy-making : how portfolio combinations affect interdepartmental coordination
Authors: Hegele, Yvonne
et. al: No
DOI: 10.1177/0952076720914361
Published in: Public Policy and Administration
Issue Date: 31-Mar-2020
Publisher / Ed. Institution: Sage
ISSN: 0952-0767
Language: English
Subject (DDC): 350: Public administration
Abstract: Departments are the primary structure of the bureaucratic apparatus of governments. They can be structured as silo organizations responsible for one policy sector or as non-silo organizations combining different portfolios under one roof. While several studies have identified explanations for the structure of government departments and their portfolio combinations, little is known about the effects portfolio combinations have on public policy. This article theoretically discusses department structure from a procedural perspective, and, taking an empirical approach, explores its effects on policy coordination as one aspect of policy-making. Circumventing the problem of lacking counterfactuals of national governments, the study analyzes the 16 German substate governments and their joint decision-making processes in the German Bundesrat. The analysis is based on two original datasets, one on the combination of portfolios in departments and one network dataset on the policy coordination process. Applying the tools of social network analysis, the findings show that departments develop preferences and goals and allocate attention based on their portfolio combination. Consequently, governments with atypical portfolio combinations are less integrated into the policy coordination process while departments comprised of similar policy sectors coordinate more closely with each other, which make them more likely to influence policy according to their interests. This study thus provides useful insights not only to researchers but also practitioners. The bureaucratic structure of departments has consequences for policy-making and, ultimately, for policy itself, which should be considered when setting up and structuring government departments.
Fulltext version: Published version
License (according to publishing contract): Licence according to publishing contract
Departement: School of Management and Law
Organisational Unit: Institute of Public Management (IVM)
Appears in collections:Publikationen School of Management and Law

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