In this article, we use data collected from municipal council members and department heads in Michigan municipalities with over 10000 residents to determine how, and why, they view the quality of their interactions with one another. Building theories of small group dynamics and political control of bureaucracy, we test several hypotheses and conclude that council members and department heads hold divergent views of their interactions with one another and that their views are determined by government form and community characteristics. We conclude with simple steps that local government officials and administrators can take to improve their small group dynamics and governing performance.

Additional Metadata
Persistent URL
Journal Journal of Public Affairs
Ford, M.R. (Michael R.), Ihrke, D.M. (Douglas M.), Cherry, B.D. (Brian D.), & Grasse, N.J. (2016). Perceptions of council member-department head interactions in local government. Journal of Public Affairs, 16(4), 368–375. doi:10.1002/pa.1597