Organizational Dissolutions in the Public Sector: An Empirical Analysis of Municipal Utility Water Districts

Tima T. Moldogaziev, Tyler A. Scott, Robert A. Greer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

The proliferation of special-purpose districts and the increasing complexity of local governance systems has been well documented. However, even as new special districts are created, others are being dissolved. This article investigates the extent to which both internal and external factors are at play in municipal utility district dissolutions. Decades of existing empirical studies on private, nonprofit, and interest organizations show that factors internal to organizations, such as institutional structure and resources are significant covariates of organizational mortality. Equally important are external factors, where density dependence and resource partitioning pressures influence organizational survival. Public sector organizations, such as special-purpose water districts, operate in relatively well monitored and statutorily constrained environments, however. Drawing upon the organizational mortality literature, we examine when and why municipal utility water districts that operate in fragmented service delivery systems dissolve. The results show that the relationship between internal and external organizational variables and special-purpose organizational dissolutions is more nuanced than existing research suggests.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)535-555
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Public Administration Research and Theory
Volume29
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 17 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration
  • Marketing

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