Understanding the Role of Street Level Bureaucrats in Interpretation and Implementation of Public Policies (Case Study: Traffic Police Officers In Iran)

Document Type : Research Article


1 Ph.D. in Public Administration, Public Administration, Farabi Campus, University of Tehran

2 management and accounting faculty ,qom campus, university of Tehran

3 management and accounting faculty, qom campus, University of Tehran, Qom, Iran


Traffic Police Officers work as street level bureaucrats to serve public order. Regarding to high volume of traffic violations, it seems that there should be some solutions for organizational reforms that could help develop and strengthen the ability of police officers to implement the policies. The essential data was gathered to understand the role of bureaucrats through observation and interviews. After approving the observation and interviews protocol by research supervisors, five driving laws was chosen and behavior of 400 police officers in Tehran was observed in response to the violation of five selected laws. Statistical analysis has shown that there is a significant difference between violations and offenders penalized. The results of 15 interviews showed that the officers interpreted the rules based on the purpose, the status of law, the policy making process and the extraordinary pressure. Then they interpret policies and rules based on the conditions including self-understanding, perception from work, perception from rule breakers, and perception from community conditions. Also, the results have shown that there is a coping behavior between perception and implementation of rules. Finding show the enforcement of laws is also influenced by the circumstances of the officer, the rule breakers, the braking rules, the organization and the environment. In the end, based on the understanding, suggestions were proposed to improve the conditions for the interpretation and enforcement of the law by policymakers, officials and police officers.


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