Koichi Kawai (Kanazawa University)
The independence of administrative agencies to elected officials is a central question in democratic governance. A key source of variation in independence is agency structure. This article tests a hypothesis in the study of the institutional design of administrative agencies. Political explanations consider the degree of institutional design of administrative agencies as a function of political factors, such as the degree of policy conflict and political uncertainty. In this article, we test this hypothesis on a data set of about 100 administrative agencies of central government that were created between 1945 and 2016 in Japan. This article uses statistical analysis to explore what makes an administrative agency independence.
We find strong support for political explanations. Our findings suggest that political factors play role in the institutional design of administrative agencies within parliamentary regimes. We illustrate how political influence affects agency structure.
This article is organized as follows. After introduction, we will describe the recent studies on administrative agency design. Next, we will explain our research method and data. Then we will show our research findings. Finally, this article will close by pointing out the implication of our analysis.
Irene Lau (Hong Kong Public Administration Association)
Increasing stringent regulation and transparent information disclosure are current trends that companies need to face arising principally from unprecedented climate change. Such responses to a low carbon economy overtly influence not only the society and environment but also a company’s financial performance. The Porter Hypothesis explains how environmental regulations directly influence sustainability strategies and overall performance of individual company. Limited studies examine why companies respond differently when facing the same regulation pressures and the influence of company reaction on its own performance in a minimal-competitive environment. This study synthesises the Porter Hypothesis by adding resource-based view theory, stakeholder theory and institutional analysis to examine the case of two Hong Kong electricity suppliers in the period between 1994 and 2015. Semi-structural interviews and archival materials from these two companies as well as reports from the Hong Kong Government are the major sources of data.
The results indicate that company resources influence company response regarding environmental regulations. In addition, the importance of a company’s anticipated institutional change cannot be neglected. This study also finds that a company needs to consider a trade-off between financial objectives and non-financial objectives in terms of its impact on society and the environment. This study contributes to the understanding of organizational responses to sustainability issues and their performances in a minimal-competitive context. It also offers practical suggestions for policy makers and companies to focus on their sustainability strategies in the future.
Allan Hil Pajimola (Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University)
Paulito Nisperos (Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University)
A livable city is a resilient local government unit which withstands societal challenges be it in social, economic, environmental or political aspects. This study described and explored the livability status using 8 research-based indicators of economic vitality, human urban environment, public safety, public infrastructures, sense of community, access to education, access to health care, and mobility and transportation of the 4 component cities in the Ilocos Region, namely Laoag City in Ilocos Norte, Vigan City in Ilocos Sur, San Fernando City in La Union and Urdaneta City in Pangasinan. Using a combined qualitative and quantitative research approaches, employing triangulation of documentary analysis, satisfaction analysis and content analysis, findings revealed that each component city has its own livability advantages and at the same time livability challenges that need to be addressed. Generally, residents are satisfied with the facilities and services of the 4 cities. Nonetheless, the satisfaction survey results proved that there are specific concerns needing to address with in order to be responsive to its constituents as these cities envision for sustainable, walkable and livable city for all. As an output of this research, recommendations as input to enrich their City Policy Agenda were offered to the LGU respondents to address livability issues and challenges.