Breaking out of silos: explaining cross-departmental interactions in two European bureaucracies

Vantaggiato, Francesca, Kassim, Hussein ORCID: and Connolly, Sara ORCID: (2021) Breaking out of silos: explaining cross-departmental interactions in two European bureaucracies. Journal of European Public Policy, 28 (9). pp. 1432-1452. ISSN 1350-1763

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The view that silos are endemic in organisations in general and the European Civil Service in particular has become increasingly widespread. Yet, silos are rarely investigated theoretically or empirically. What is a silo? What are the individual and organisational factors associated with silos? We propose a functionalist approach to silo definition and identification, which links individual and organisational tasks to expected intra-organisational interactions: we operationalise silos as clusters of employees lacking communication with other parts of the organisation, and analyse civil servants and departments as bipartite networks of communication using stochastic blockmodelling. We explore the existence of silos in two European bureaucracies, which differ in mission, size and workforce composition: the European Commission and the General Secretariat of the Council. We do not find evidence of silo-isation in either bureaucracy, but rather task-based patterns of interaction. Our approach can be extended to include other theoretical perspectives, e.g., socialisation effects.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: administrative silos,blockmodels,coordination,european commission,general secretariat of the council,administrative silos,sociology and political science,public administration,4*,submitted to ref 2021 ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/3300/3312
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > Norwich Business School
Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Politics, Philosophy, Language and Communication Studies
University of East Anglia > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Groups > Political, Social and International Studies
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Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 09 Jun 2020 00:06
Last Modified: 22 Oct 2022 06:17
DOI: 10.1080/13501763.2020.1784253

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