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What decides the job satisfaction of Chief Environmental Inspectors, and what difference does it make?

Conference contribution
Authors Ylva Norén Bretzer
Published in Paper presented at the 2007 Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, Chicago, August 30 - September 2, 2007
Publication year 2007
Published at School of Public Administration
Center for Public Sector Research (CEFOS)
Language en
Subject categories Public Administration Studies


Starting out from Lipsky’s street-level bureaucrats and Brehm & Gates’ work on what motivates public administrators, this article analyses the role of job satisfaction of the Swedish chief environmental inspectors (CEIs). Job satisfaction is defined along the lines suggested by Kinicki et al (2002), but with adaptation to the specific task area. Results show that the job satisfaction of the Swedish CEIs largely is due to four factors. One is the size of the municipality in which the CEI is working, where larger municipalities increase job satisfaction. Second and third, job satisfaction increases if the elected politicians in the local parliament pay larger interest to environmental ambitions, and if the local political parties pay interest to the environmental work. Fourth, one coping strategy – dialogue with the local companies and inspection objects – increase job satisfaction, while other coping strategies don’t; such as policing, random inspections or submissive strategies. The second part of the article discusses possible effects from CEI job satisfaction, and clear significant covariations are found between job satisfaction and three different outcome measures, a) satisfaction with present environmental situation, b) the local priority paid to national efforts of national environmental objectives, and c) the perceived change in environmental status of the municipality 1995 up to 2005. Therefore, it is concluded that local CEI job satisfaction is a vital indicator to measure where national environmental efforts work, shirk or are sabotaged. It may even be a necessary precondition for successful policy implementation.

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