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Latent Organisational Hybridity in Administrative Crisis Management: The German Refugee Crisis of 2015/16

Local Government
Public Administration
Immigration
Refugee
Alexa Lenz
Universität Konstanz
Steffen Eckhard
Universität Konstanz
Alexa Lenz
Universität Konstanz
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Abstract

When it comes to societal crises, the question of effective crisis management is essentially a question of performance of the public administration. As ineffective crisis management undermines public trust in the state and threatens the legitimacy of political entities, it is important to ask what affects the ability of the state to effectively address crises. In this paper we study variation in administrative crisis management from the perspective of latent organizational hybridity. The concept specifies that administrations in crisis management deviate from routine behaviour for temporally limited periods to act along behavioural patterns borrowed from other sectors (such as the third or private sector). Such hybridity is latent and thus refers to informal behavior, rather than formal and stable institutional arrangements. We test the concept and its implicit hypotheses based on administrative action pursuant to the so- called German refugee crisis in 2015/16. Our analysis draws on original data collected in a Germany-wide survey of all administrations on the level of districts and district-free cities (Landkreise und kreisfreie Städte).