The gap between institutional expectations and councillor perceptions of their roles: how serious can it be?

International Research Society for Public Management (IRSPM)
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
International Research Society for Public Management Conference 2014, 2014
Issue Date:
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528 Su Fei Tan 'Local Representation in Australia' submitted to IRSPM.docx Published version91.22 kB
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This study, carried out in the Australian state of Victoria, sought to understand councillors' perceptions of their representative role. In Australia, local government powers and functions are prescribed through state and territory legislation. They do this within a broader public policy context of reform which has evolved significantly. Most recently local government reform has been characterised by the introduction of business and managerialist approaches. These reform processes envisage a more strategic role for councillors. To test councillors' alignment with these institutional expectations, interviews were carried out. The research found that despite the legislative framing of their roles and direction of reform, councillors' perceptions and practice were different from what was expected.
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