Keywords: Street-Level Bureaucracy; Labour Inspectors; Work Irregularities; Discretionary Power; Institutional Pressures.
This article builds on previous studies concerning street-level bureaucracy
(SLB), an expression coined by Lipsky to highlight the importance of the discretionary
power that professionals in public agencies exercise during the implementation
of laws, standards and guidelines. Connecting SLB theoretical
framework and the new institutional organizational analysis, this article puts
in how labour inspectors use their discretionary power when dealing with similar
work irregularities in different organizational fields. Based on 9 months of
participant observations and vignette interviews in a local office of the Italian
Labour Inspectorate, the article aims to extend the range of both theories.