Potentials for Horizontal Cooperation in a Centralized Setting: Empirical Research on Hungarian Civil Servants’ Perceptions on Public Administration Culture



The article describes empirical findings regarding the perceptions of the Hungarian central civil service on outsourcing and other forms of cooperation. The findings summarized in this article are part of a vast empirical research effort that took place in 2014 – shortly after the wave of a comprehensive centralization that affected the entire corpus of Hungarian public administration from the local level to the ministerial level. The complete research design consisted of qualitative and quantitative elements, the latter containing an online questionnaire sent out to 40.000 addresses within the Hungarian central civil service. According to the empirical findings of the study, outsourcing as a general concept does not have significant support among Hungarian civil servants while other forms of cooperation with external players are far from being rejected. The current study throws light on what civil servants think about internal and external forms of cooperation such as delegation, involvement in decisions or government-civil society and government- market arrangements. The article displays the research findings on the stakeholder perceptions regarding outsourcing, insourcing and PPPs in the light of corresponding theory and development path analysis applied to the case of Hungary. The article embraces stakeholder and civil service perceptions on outsourcing and offers a context in which it can be better understood.


outsourcing, development path, reform, perceptions.

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