Enforcement officials' coping strategies in a changing regulatory environment

Ning Liu, Shui Yan Tang, Carlos Wing Hung Lo, Xueyong Zhan

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Enforcement officials' coping strategies evolve with changes in job attitudes, work situations, and institutional support. As the institutional context becomes more challenging with stronger performance management and transparency pressures, enforcement officials are less likely to move toward regulatees. Besides, in a more challenging context, officials with higher pay satisfaction and societal support are more likely to move toward regulatees. Yet officials are consistently less likely to move toward regulatees if they receive fewer resources or more government support. These correlations are supported by results from two rounds of surveys with environmental regulatory enforcement officials in China. Our interviews and archival documents helped unearth changes in institutional contexts and enforcement activities between and after our two surveys. This study advances a dynamic view of coping among street-level bureaucrats by showing how changes in institutional contexts may reshape the motivational bases of coping strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)408-426
Number of pages19
JournalPublic Administration
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration


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