AFRREV IJAH: An International Journal of Arts and Humanities

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Street level bureaucracy and the dilemmas of private entities in public spaces: Case of GPRTU

Patience Ama Nyantakyiwaa Boahen


Lipsky’s notion of “street-level bureaucrats” refers to public sector actors who provide service and sanction the public due to their ability to wield discretionary power. Hence are autonomous from government. Discretionary power enables them to shape public policy in pursuit of private agendas by inter alia creating artificial shortages. Given that they a pose threat to government’s efforts, government sometimes moves to curtail their power of discretion and autonomy. Street-level bureaucrats are rational and activate mechanisms to escape government control. This study examines the coping mechanisms of the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) after government implementation of a petroleum price deregulation policy. This paper raises questions and sets the stage for the next part by highlighting the notions of the prisoner’s dilemma, collective action, tragedy of commons and organizational choice. These are refracted through the transactional model of coping strategies of entities.

Keywords: Street-level bureaucrats, discretionary power, autonomy, coping strategy, GPRTU, transactional model

AJOL African Journals Online