Street-level bureaucrats require substantial discretion to do their job. We expect them to use their discretion to deliver a public service that is tailored and responsive to situational demands and the needs of individual citizens. These expectations make public service strongly dependent on street-level bureaucrats’ professional judgments. Having to rely on their own judgments creates room for bureaucrats’ personal attitudes to protrude their work, in service and regulatory street-level bureaucracies alike.
To come to their decisions, street-level bureaucrats have to assess their clients. The necessity of client assessments makes street-level bureaucrats’ attitude towards clients the most defining attitude in their work. That personal attitude is the topic of this dissertation. More specifically, this dissertation studies the components of this attitude and the factors that shape it. It posits that street-level bureaucrats’ social context forms the main arena in which forces of attitude formation and change materialize.

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This dissertation was funded by the Dutch Organization for Scientific Research (NWO), Vidi project ‘The other side of the gap: Do public officials trust citizens?’ (grant number 452-11-011).
S.G.J. Van de Walle (Steven) , S.M. Groeneveld (Sandra)
Erasmus University Rotterdam

Keulemans, S. (2020, September 24). Understanding Street-level Bureaucrats’ Attitude Towards Clients: A social psychological approach. Retrieved from