Date of Award

Summer 2005

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Public Administration and Urban Policy

Committee Director

Berhanu Mengistu

Committee Member

Leonard I. Ruchelman

Committee Member

Stacey B. Plichta


In the 1980s an array of world events including the dissolution of the Soviet Union, a movement toward restructuring and downsizing government bureaucracies, and rapidly evolving technology prompted significant changes to governments. Many developing nations began the transition from command to market economies, and new government structures emerged to address a variety of root problems including the rise of ethnic consciousness and conflict. As a consequence of these events, changes in societies, governments, and bureaucracies, were drivers for changes to bureaucratic values.

The current research addresses a gap in knowledge about bureaucratic values specifically in a government organized under the unique constitutional format of ethnic federalism. The study initiates research about the influence of single-party-based executive leadership and its influence on the development of bureaucratic values in a country transitioning to liberal democracy. These values are examined in the context of an ethnic federalism, namely, the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia.

The study provides an empirical interpretation of Herbert Kaufman's (1956) notion of competing bureaucratic values identified as: neutral competence, representativeness and executive leadership. These bureaucratic values are factors in the nexus of professional bureaucracy and the executive branch of government. Findings of the study, which are drawn from the results of a survey of Ethiopian civil service employees in 2002, support the efficacy of Competing Bureaucratic Values Theory in modeling perceptions about bureaucratic values. Empirical models representing the competing bureaucratic values of Neutral Competence, Representativeness and Executive Leadership were developed. These models had modest accuracy in predicting factors related to employees' demographic and personal work characteristics and to factors related to employees' perceptions about bureaucratic values. Significant predictors of bureaucratic values were found to vary across individual bureaucratic value models and in strength and direction.

The research provides a theoretical framework to facilitate discourse about bureaucratic values in order to assist in the clarification of national bureaucratic values. Empirical information generated by the models may have an application in deliberations by the Civil Service, the polity, the government, and external entities in the development of public policy in line with national bureaucratic values.


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