Explaining the willingness of public professionals to implement public policies: Content, context and personality characteristics

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Abstract

The willingness of public professionals to implement policy programmes is a recurring theme in public administration. Although willingness is considered crucial for the effective implementation of public policies, few scholars have developed and tested systematic frameworks to analyse this issue. In this study, we address this by building and testing an appropriate framework. The aims have been: (1) to build a three-factor model (policy content, organizational context and personality characteristics) for explaining willingness to implement policies; and (2) to quantitatively test the model through a survey of Dutch professionals. The results show that policy content is the most important factor in explaining willingness. Nevertheless, organizational context and the personality characteristics of implementers also have a significant effect and should be considered when studying the attitudes of professionals towards policies. This research helps in understanding the willingness or resistance of professionals when it comes to implementing policies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)716-736
Number of pages21
JournalPublic Administration
Volume90
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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