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The decentralization or devolution of public service delivery has been prevalent in modern governance. Such transformation of governance enhances the roles of sub-national governments or nonprofit and private organizations for public service delivery. However, the extensive decentralization or devolution of public service delivery may make the federal government seem more 'hollow'. What is commonly called the "hollow state" is a significant challenge in public administration. Scholars have recently paid increasing attention to the hollow state by focusing on service networks and contracts. They have identified a number of important factors related to network and contract management. Nevertheless, many questions remain about the impact of the hollow state federal agencies. This study explores to answer how the hollow state has affected organizational structures and professionalization in the federal government. This study also looks at the impacts of the hollow state on the attitudes of federal civil servants regarding performance-based felt accountability, affective commitment and job satisfaction. This study found that the hollow state type activities have significant impacts on both organizational structures and professionalization in federal agencies. Through panel data analysis, this study indicates that the hollow state activities increase organizational centralization and levels of professionalization in federal agencies. The results of hierarchical linear models show that hollow state initiatives negatively impact performance-based felt accountability of federal civil servants. Based on the findings, this study provides theoretical and practical implications on the hollowing out of government.
A Dissertation submitted to Reubin O'D. Askew School of Public Administration and Policy in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Includes bibliographical references.
Kaifeng Yang, Professor Directing Dissertation; Gerald R. Ferris, University Representative; William Earle Klay, Committee Member; Ralph S. Brower, Committee Member.
Florida State University
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