This paper aims to show that the Spanish central administration, as a representative of the Napoleonic tradition, has undergone considerable managerial changes in non‐autonomous and semi‐autonomous agencies characterised by their direct involvement in service delivery in spite of the failure of macro‐changes and radical reforms of public administration.
This paper provides case studies of “paths” of changes in three organisations.
Through “layering” and “diffusion” of institutions as social mechanisms included in the historical new institutionalism account for innovation, specific organisations like the tax agency, social security and property registry have become more managerial in a state dominated by public law.
More in‐depth case studies would make possible generalisation of how small changes can produce similar impacts or results than reform efforts at the macro‐level.
The use of historical neo‐institutionalism and the exam of mechanisms as “layering” and “diffusion” for explaining change is presented.
Parrado, S. (2008), "Failed policies but institutional innovation through “layering” and “diffusion” in Spanish central administration", International Journal of Public Sector Management, Vol. 21 No. 2, pp. 230-252. https://doi.org/10.1108/09513550810855672Download as .RIS
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