Representative Bureaucracy and Performance

Public Service Transformation in South Africa

  • Sergio Fernandez

Part of the Executive Politics and Governance book series (EXPOLGOV)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xviii
  2. Sergio Fernandez
    Pages 1-21
  3. Sergio Fernandez
    Pages 23-68
  4. Sergio Fernandez
    Pages 69-111
  5. Sergio Fernandez
    Pages 143-188
  6. Sergio Fernandez
    Pages 267-279
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 281-288

About this book


Governments throughout the world seek to promote employment equity and ensure that bureaucracies are representative of the citizenry. South Africa offers a rare and fascinating case for exploring what happens to bureaucracies as they undergo demographic transformation. Grounded in the theory of representative bureaucracy and using a mixed methods approach, this book explores how major changes in the demographics of the South African public service have affected the performance of the institution. The empirical analysis offers compelling evidence that representative bureaucracies perform better. As public organizations become increasingly representative by hiring historically disadvantaged persons, especially Africans, their performance improves, controlling for a range of factors. Evidence indicates representative bureaucracies perform better because they empathize with and advocate for historically disadvantaged communities, are equipped with linguistic and cultural competencies to serve a diverse citizenry, and can induce compliance, cooperation, and coproduction.

Sergio Fernandez is Associate Professor at Indiana University O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs, USA. He also serves as Extraordinary Professor at University of Pretoria School of Public Management and Administration, South Africa, and Visiting Professor at University of Johannesburg Centre for Public Management and Governance, South Africa.


representative bureaucracy bureaucracy transformation affirmative action performance apartheid capacity service delivery administrative reform workforce diversity methodology causal mechanisms racial oppression exploitation South Africa Multivariate regression analysis organisational performance empathy advocation

Authors and affiliations

  • Sergio Fernandez
    • 1
  1. 1.Indiana University BloomingtonBloomingtonUSA

Bibliographic information

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