Form of Government Still Matters

“The authors conclude that form of government remains an important variable to consider when investigating local government management and performance.”

Using data on the adoption of e-government, reinventing government, and strategic practices, and the Nelson and Svara (2010) typology of municipal government form, the authors investigate the characteristics of municipal governments that are related to the implementation of innovative practices.

The authors find that higher innovation rates are associated with council-manager governments—both with and without an elected mayor, higher population, greater growth, lower unemployment, sunbelt location, and higher population density. Controlling for all other variables, form of government (and variations within form) account for the greatest explanation of the adoption of innovative practices in municipalities. 

Published in The American Review of Public Administration | Kimberly L. Nelson | 2012,,