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Tsai, "Responsiveness of public bureaucracies in constitutional democracies: Model building and a case study of the responsiveness of the Taipei Municipal Police Department in a transforming democracy," 1998

USC Dissertation in Public Administration.
August 26, 2009

Yun-tung Tsai, D.P.A.

Abstract (Summary)
This study examines how public bureaucracies can become more responsive to societal needs and goals; it explores the responsiveness of a public bureaucracy of the Republic of China, a transforming democracy.

Given current emphases on consumers and public entrepreneurship, it is arguable whether police bureaucracies can pursue concurrently two competing values, service delivery and regulation. Key questions are: (1) How can the Taipei Municipal Police Department (TMPD) adapt to changing environmental demands, particularly the political democratization experienced after martial law ended in 1987? (2) How do citizens assess the responsiveness of the TMPD?

The study is grounded in theories of American public bureaucracy. Research literature on bureaucratic responsiveness is the basis for positing a theoretical framework for bureaucratic responsiveness.

A cross-sectional exploratory survey design is employed; methods include interviews and mailed, self-administered questionnaires. Two distinct survey questionnaires were administered by random sampling to 4,000 citizens and 600 police.

Quantitative and qualitative approaches are used in the data analysis. SPSS Windows 7.0 is employed for statistical analyses such as descriptive statistics, chi-squares, t tests, correlations, multiple regression analysis, and an exploratory factor analysis. Six research hypotheses and several sub-hypotheses are tested. Based on the factor analysis, a revised model of bureaucratic responsiveness is presented.

Results indicate that five independent variables in the citizen survey are useful in predicting citizen satisfaction, and six independent variables are useful in predicting responsiveness to democratic processes and values. Citizen respondents show a low percentage of satisfaction with TMPD's performance to date, but their trust in TMPD's capacity for dealing with crimes remains.

The police survey yielded five independent variables that are useful in predicting both citizen satisfaction and responsiveness to democratic processes and values. Professionalism scores the highest Beta weights and explains most of the variability in both surveys. Interview data are used to verify, support, and explicate the statistical analysis findings. The data indicate that the TMPD is primarily responsive to its political overseers.

Advisor: Clayton, Ross