Representative bureaucracy and organizational attractiveness: an experimental study of symbolic representation of the US and UK police

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Drawing upon representative bureaucracy theory, this study investigates the relationship between passive and symbolic representation by examining the extent to which a more passively representative public organization would be attractive as an employer. The study involved a randomized survey experiment of members of the public in the US and UK. Overall, and contrary to the theory of representative bureaucracy, results show that women found a male-dominated police department more attractive. The explanation for the results of the study may lie in bureaucratic reputation as a boundary condition of symbolic representation.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages15
JournalPublic Administration Review
Early online date8 Jun 2023
Publication statusEarly online - 8 Jun 2023

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