Stakeholder red tape: Comparing perceptions of public managers and their private consultants

Mary K. Feeney, Barry Bozeman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


Despite the abundance of red tape literature and the growing popularity of outsourcing in the public sector, no study has yet investigated red tape in consulting relationships. Using survey data from public managers and the contractors with whom they work, the authors investigate public managers' and private consultants' perceptions of organizational and contracting red tape. They identify the determinants of red tape perceptions, variation in those perceptions, and the characteristics of respondents with stronger divergent views of contracting red tape. The results indicate that government managers perceive higher levels of organizational red tape and contracting red tape than their consultants. Public managers' perceptions of red tape are associated with job satisfaction and time spent managing and communicating with consultants. Consultants' perceptions of red tape are associated with perceptions of the appropriateness of the government agency's rules, the number of years the firm has worked with the agency, and the percentage of the firm's cost-plus contracts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)710-726
Number of pages17
JournalPublic administration review
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration
  • Marketing


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