Multidimensional red tape: A theory coda

Abstract:

Almost all red tape research is anchored in a relatively small number of theoretical formulations and formal red tape concepts. My article analyzes these concepts, including Kaufman’s red tape concept, organizational red tape, and stakeholder red tape. After reviewing previous concepts of red tape I suggest a new one, multidimensional red tape. The basic idea of multidimensional red tape is that red tape is subject-dependent and that rules and regulations may be pathological in some elements and not others, even with respect to the same stakeholder. Multidimensional red tape seeks to provide a conceptual platform for enhancing researchers’ ability to assess multiple costs and benefits of rules and, thereby, to identify rules in need of reform, even in cases where rules are not judged to be red tape.

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Bozeman, B. (2012). Multidimensional red tape: A theory coda. International Public Management Journal, 15(3), 245-265.