ERIC Number: ED229828
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982
Reference Count: 0
The Political World of Urban Executives: A Test of the Democratic Paradigm.
Wirt, Frederick M.; Christovich, Leslie J.
The inherent political conflict between the professional decision-maker and citizen participation in those decisions is explored in the perceptions of city managers, planning directors, and school superintendents responding to a national mail poll. From the sample of 750 administrators, there were 406 (54 percent) returns, distributed almost equally among the three professions. The primary hypotheses tested are that in democratic theory professional autonomy should be inversely related to (1) the volume and spread of group pressures, (2) related measures of community size and complexity, and (3) the length of professional experience in dealing with citizens. All three groups of urban executives, regardless of community size and professional experience, reported in large percentages that they had experienced a recent increase in group pressures upon them but that, contrary to the prime hypothesis, these pressures have not diminished their policy participation and influence with their boards, councils, or citizens in general. The findings are contraindicative not only to the empirical aspects of democratic theory but to these professions' posture of deference to political authority. Professional skills and urban political fragmentation are suggested as explanations. (Author/MLF)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A