Public Organization Review

, Volume 7, Issue 3, pp 221–236 | Cite as

The Termination of Public Organizations: Theoretical Perspectives to Revitalize a Promising Research Area

  • Christian Adam
  • Michael W. Bauer
  • Christoph Knill
  • Philipp Studinger


While many studies deal with comparative public sector reform, the fundamental question of whether and to what extent states are actually able to abolish parts of their administrative structure remains untackled. Despite some efforts to solve this puzzle, the topic remains underestimated. This article identifies the main conceptual and theoretical problems associated with existent research on the termination of public organizations. Furthermore, the article systemizes various causal factors of termination into two broad dimensions: “organizational stickiness” and “political incentives.” Taken together, these constitute a typology, which is able to guide future empirical investigation of the termination of public organizations.


Termination Public organizations Policy termination Administrative reform 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christian Adam
    • 1
  • Michael W. Bauer
    • 1
  • Christoph Knill
    • 1
  • Philipp Studinger
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Politics and ManagementUniversity of KonstanzKonstanzGermany

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