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Anticipating Change In The Higher Civil Service: Affective Commitment, Organizational Ideology, And Political Ideology

Author: ROBERT MARANTO and B. DOUGLAS SKELLEY
Published in PAQ, Vol. 27 No. 3

Although both academics and practitioners recognize that relationships
exist between cultural predisposition and support for reform, few
attempts have been made in the public sector to gauge them. This study
applies the concepts affective commitment, organizational ideology,
and political ideology, as established in the organizational behavior
literature, to data taken from higher-level federal civil servants at the
inception of the Clinton Administration’s National Performance
Review (NPR). Quantitative analyses confirm the importance of
affective commitment to support for NPR and demonstrate that affective
commitment varies greatly with organizational type. The study also
lends credence to the hypothesis that strong ideologies can prove
resistant to induced change. Political ideology appears a relevant factor
but only in select agency cultures.

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