Who is engaged and why? Testing an instrumental perspective on stakeholder engagement

Josephine Gatti Schafer, Zhiwei Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


From an instrumental perspective, public administrators are expected to analyze their environment. They are also expected to take proactive steps to manage environmental impacts. These actions are intended to ensure that public administrators are able to achieve their goals. Part of analyzing their environment involves the engagement of stakeholders. Stakeholder engagement is believed to provide public administrators with insights into how they can better evaluate innovative policy options that allow them to overcome limited administrative capacity. Stakeholder engagement is also believed to allow public administrators with opportunities to mobilize support in light of political opposition. The purpose of this article is to test these claims within the policy area of municipal contracting out. In the article, we find strong support for these ideas. Thus, our findings should inform public administration theories about the role and importance of stakeholder engagement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)155-177
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Public and Nonprofit Affairs
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2019


  • Engagement
  • Local Government
  • Public Management
  • Stakeholders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)
  • Public Administration
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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