Governing Diversity: The Impact of Social Heterogeneity on Human Service Delivery

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6 Scopus citations


The social environment in which government is embedded has wide implications for public administration. The increasing social heterogeneity in the United States poses various puzzles for the governance structure in public human service programs. Apart from major political and policy changes, contracting out service delivery is considered to be a more appropriate managerial response. Therefore, social heterogeneity in a jurisdiction would be positively associated with the use of contractual networks in service delivery. Using data from a national survey of human service contracting, this study finds that states with higher degrees of social heterogeneity use service contractual networks more often. This further highlights the imperative of capacity building for public administrators when using contractual networks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)153-166
Number of pages14
JournalPublic Organization Review
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous)
  • Law


  • Contracting out
  • Contractual networks
  • Human services
  • Social diversity


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