Role Models in the Senior Civil Service: How Tasks Frame the Identification of Senior Bureaucrats with Active and Reactive Roles

Falk Ebinger, Sylvia Veit, Bastian Strobel

Publikation: Wissenschaftliche FachzeitschriftOriginalbeitrag in FachzeitschriftBegutachtung

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The influence of senior civil servants’ (SCS) tasks on their role perceptions has been widely ignored in the past research on the administrative élite. This paper presents new survey data on SCS in German federal ministries to test this relation by categorizing SCS into three task-related groups: strategists, policy specialists and administrators. Regression analyses reveal that SCS’s tasks do not influence their (strong) identification with reactive (supportive) roles but have a significant impact on their identification with active, more politically entrepreneurial roles. This entails two important findings: First, SCS’s tasks matter for their appreciation of different roles. Second, active and reactive role models are not irreconcilable (as it is often argued in the literature on bureaucratic politicization), but complementary.
Seiten (von - bis)1 - 12
FachzeitschriftInternational Journal of Public Administration
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 2021

Österreichische Systematik der Wissenschaftszweige (ÖFOS)

  • 506014 Vergleichende Politikwissenschaft
  • 505027 Verwaltungslehre
  • 506009 Organisationstheorie
  • 502024 Öffentliche Wirtschaft
  • 506002 E-Government
  • 509004 Evaluationsforschung


  • Administrative Elites
  • Politicization
  • Role Perception
  • Tasks