ERIC Number: ED178378
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Sep-1
Reference Count: 0
Clients and Bureaucracies: Applicant Evaluations of Public Human Service and Benefit Programs.
Nelson, Barbara J.
The research investigates the sources of applicant satisfaction with public social benefit and service programs. The hypothesis is that applicant satisfaction can be explained by analyzing the act of help-seeking in terms of personal characteristics and goals; and that applicants who receive benefits evaluate agency helpfulness, fairness, and consideration more positively. The paper examines what type of applicant contacts which agency; what group of applicants, with what agency experiences, receives benefits or services; and how applicants evaluate their encounters. Data from 1,564 agency applications shown in a 1972 survey is analyzed, using 16 variables with cross-tabulation, measures of association and their tests of significance, and analysis of variance. Findings show that the elderly, well-educated, wealthy, and whites applied to federal insurance agencies, while blacks and Hispanics went to welfare and vocational agencies. Overall level of success was 74% and came more often to whites, elderly, those who applied to federal insurance or welfare agencies, and those who received assistance in presenting claims. Fifty percent of every social, economic, and demographic group found the agencies very helpful, considerate, and fair. Receiving benefits or services, obtaining adequate assistance, education, and income were the most important variables. Conclusions show that applicant satisfaction rests primarily on receiving benefits or services and obtaining sufficient assistance in claims presentation. Implications are that agencies can provide more satisfaction by routinizing and clarifying rules, and by publicizing them better. Eleven tables and models illustrate the research. (CK)
Descriptors: Age Groups, Agency Role, Data Analysis, Ethnic Groups, Evaluation, Participant Satisfaction, Performance, Research Methodology, Social Agencies, Social Science Research, Speeches
Xerox University Microfilms, 300 North Zeeb Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48106 ($3.00)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Prepared for Delivery at the Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association (Washington, D.C., September 1, 1979)