Diffuse anxieties, deprived entrepreneurs: Commission reform and middle management (in Special Issue: Reforming the European Commission ed. Michael W. Bauer)

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Series Details Vol.15, No.5, August 2008, p691-707
Publication Date August 2008
ISSN 1350-1763
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Abstract: There is consensus that the Kinnock reform changed the European Commission considerably. However, scholars have focused mainly on describing the process, content, and scope of the reform. There is as yet little empirical research about the effects this reform may have. This paper puts forward an argument as regards the link between reform effects and policy output. In order to do so, it focuses on the new role of middle management, i.e. the heads of unit. A survey of more than 100 heads of unit of policy-making Directorates-General serves as the empirical basis. The data indicate a substantial ambiguity of the heads of unit towards recent organizational change. As a consequence of the reform, the Commission will probably become more inward-looking and previously crucial policy entrepreneurs will have less time and other resources for advocating policy content than in the past.

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