Abstract: Drawing on insights from social networks, social cognition and the study of emotions, this conceptual article offers a set of ideas and a series of predictions on how systematic variation in two sets of relationships may bear on agency behavior. The first is the agency-audience relationship which revolves around how and what multiple audiences think about public agencies, how these thoughts impact upon agency behavior, how information regarding this behavior is transformed within multiple audiences and how it influences audience memory and behavior regarding that agency. The second is the relationship between the reputation of an agency head and the reputation of that agency. The article identifies six broad areas that offer the most promising possibilities for future research on bureaucratic reputation, calling on researchers to incorporate insights from the aforementioned literatures, to dimensionalize these sets of relationships and to assess the generalizability of reputation’s effects.
Keywords: agency head; audiences; bureaucratic reputation; emotion; social cognition; social networks