Multilevel Governance and Organizational Performance: Investigating the Political-Bureaucratic Labyrinth

Kenneth J. Meier, Laurence J. O'Toole, Sean Nicholson-Crotty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


Research on governance has extensively explored the complex interactions of governmental, nongovernmental, and for-profit entities in the execution of public policy. It has consistently failed, however, to model empirically the joint effects of political and bureaucratic actors in governance systems. To address this issue, a theory of multilevel governance built upon the foundation of representative bureaucracy was developed and tested. Results from an analysis of Texas school districts suggest that Latinos at all levels of the governance system, political and managerial, influence representation at other levels. Findings also indicate that Latinos at each level of governance have positive effects, directly and indirectly, on outcomes for Latino students. The influence of both political and managerial actors at times extends beyond the immediately adjoining level; the effects of such actors cascade through the governance system. The results show that a priority for systematic research should be the identification of approaches and settings for examining the multilevel aspect of governance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-47
JournalJournal of policy analysis and management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2003


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