The Applicability of Lipsky's Street Level Bureaucrat Theory

Amy S. Weber, University of Cincinnati

Lipsky's theory of the behaviors of street level bureaucrats describes the patterns of work environment conditions and the standards of practice (informal or formal) that influence individual and organizational actions. In this paper, the usefulness of Lipsky's theory for predicting the current behaviors of street level bureaucrats will be explored. Specifically, this paper will examine the application of Lipsky's theory and additional explanatory factors that the theory does not consider. Finally, the implications for organizational change based on this theory of bheavior are explored.

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Updated 05/20/2006