Administrative Styles and Regulatory Reform: Institutional Arrangements and their Effects on Administrative Behavior

Michael Howlett


The institutional structure of an organization creates a distinct pattern of constraints and incentives for state and societal actors which define and structure actors. interests and channel their behavior. The interaction of these actors generates a particular administrative logic and process, or culture. However, since institutional structures vary, a neo-institutional perspective suggests that there will be many different kinds of relatively long-lasting patterns of administrative behavior - each pattern being defined by the particular set of formal and informal institutions, rules, norms, traditions, and values of which it is comprised - and many different factors affecting the construction and deconstruction of each pattern. Following this logic, this article develops a multilevel, nested model of administrative styles and applies it to the observed patterns of regulatory reform in many jurisdictions over the past several decades.

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