The Effect of Culture on the Workings of Bureaucracy: A Comparison of U.S. and Pakistani Audit Bureaucracies




Afaqi, Mian Muhammad Jamil

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This research studies the relationship between a bureaucracy and its host culture as a process contingent upon affinity between their symbol structures. Such a perspective allows viewing bureaucracies as institutions embedded in particular cultural contexts. It, further, enables studying how staff in bureaucracies constitute their social reality within the organizational environment and what impact that has for the workings of these bureaucracies. To explore these questions, I study and compare two audit bureaucracies: the U.S. Government Accountability Office and the Office of the Auditor General of Pakistan as institutions groomed in two different cultures. In a theoretical framework provided by the institutionalist theory, I make use of the case study method to develop cultural-cognitive portraits of the two bureaucracies and to juxtapose and compare their institutional dynamics.



Public policy, Cultural anthropology, Sociology, Bureaucracy, Culture, GAO, Institutions, PAAS, Symbols