In this paper, I examine “the paradox of street-level bureaucracyµ, a significant challenge in frontline administrative decision-making. This dilemma arises from conflicting obligations faced by street-level officials, who must balance obedience to the law and the orders they receive with discretion in decision-making. By showing that the dilemma is a case of the “paradox of rulesµ, a problem of rule-application that has to be understood in psychological terms, I assert that it cannot be universally applied to all street-level bureaucrats. Instead, the impact of the dilemma varies among types of officials based on their work-related “mindframeµ. This mindframe is predominantly determined by organizational factors that differ between institutions. I suggest that to determine how street-level officials navigate this dilemma, one should foremost consider the hierarchical rigidity of an institution and the nature of organizational training.
Zgur, M. (2023). The Paradox of Street-Level Bureaucracy and The Moulding of the Bureaucratic Mind. MATERIALI PER UNA STORIA DELLA CULTURA GIURIDICA(2), 553-573 [10.1436/109234].