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Further Dissecting the Black Box of Citizen Participation: When Does Citizen Involvement Lead to Good Outcomes?

Authors

  • Kaifeng Yang,

    Corresponding author
    1. Florida State University
      Kaifeng Yang is an associate professor and the doctoral program director in the Askew School of Public Administration and Policy at Florida State University. He is the managing editor of Public Performance and Management Review. His research interests include citizen participation and public management.
      E-mail:kyang@fsu.edu
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  • Sanjay K. Pandey

    Corresponding author
    1. Rutgers University–Newark
      Sanjay K. Pandey is an associate professor in the School of Public Affairs and Administration at Rutgers University–Newark. He conducts research on public management and health policy.
      E-mail:skpandey@andromeda.rutgers.edu
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Kaifeng Yang is an associate professor and the doctoral program director in the Askew School of Public Administration and Policy at Florida State University. He is the managing editor of Public Performance and Management Review. His research interests include citizen participation and public management.
E-mail:kyang@fsu.edu

Sanjay K. Pandey is an associate professor in the School of Public Affairs and Administration at Rutgers University–Newark. He conducts research on public management and health policy.
E-mail:skpandey@andromeda.rutgers.edu

Abstract

While various descriptive and prescriptive citizen participation models suggest ways to improve citizen participation, none has been subjected to large-scale empirical tests. This article develops and tests an organizational theory model that explores the conditions under which citizen involvement as a general strategy can improve administrative decision making. The new model focuses on organizational variables that are more directly subject to managerial influence, such as political support, leadership, red tape, and hierarchical authority, as well as variables related to participant competence and representativeness. Hypotheses are tested with data collected from a national survey of local government managers. The results suggest that public management matters for citizen participation. The conclusion calls for integrating quantitative designs with normative and qualitative citizen participation research.

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