The Open UniversitySkip to content

Between patronage and good governance: organizational arrangements in (local) public appointment processes

Sancino, Alessandro; Grossi, Giuseppe and Sicilia, Mariafrancesca (2019). Between patronage and good governance: organizational arrangements in (local) public appointment processes. International Review of Administrative Sciences, 85(2) (Early Access).

Full text available as:
PDF (Accepted Manuscript) - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Download (257kB) | Preview
DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link:
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar


This article investigates whether certain organizational arrangements in (local) public appointment processes could encourage the use of appointments as a tool of good governance rather than as a tool of patronage. Specifically, we studied the role of six organizational arrangements in 10 case studies of intra- and inter-organizational public appointment processes held in Italian local government. We found that good governance (in terms of perception of overall integrity and fairness) was found in processes of public appointments where there was independent scrutiny, and when the process involved local councillors and/or external stakeholders – that is, actors beyond those with the formal power to appoint. In these cases, making appointments was seen as a tool of good governance rather than of patronage. These organizational arrangements were more relevant than other ones such as the transparency of public advertisements, job descriptions and educational/professional requirements, and media and public awareness. The article describes the relevant literature and the research study, and discusses implications for research, policy and management.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2016 The Author(s)
ISSN: 1461-7226
Keywords: Public appointments; local government; public managers; politicians; good governance; public governance; patronage; Italy; corruption
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Business and Law (FBL) > Business
Faculty of Business and Law (FBL)
Item ID: 47600
Depositing User: Alessandro Sancino
Date Deposited: 24 Oct 2016 09:39
Last Modified: 08 Mar 2018 15:38
Share this page:


Altmetrics from Altmetric

Citations from Dimensions

Download history for this item

These details should be considered as only a guide to the number of downloads performed manually. Algorithmic methods have been applied in an attempt to remove automated downloads from the displayed statistics but no guarantee can be made as to the accuracy of the figures.

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   contact the OU