Effects of Structural Change in Legislative Committee Systems on Their Performance in U. S. States

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This paper examines the effects of changes in committee structure on subsequent committee performance. The dimensions of committee structure are derived from organizational theory, while the dimensions of committee performance involve a modification of Rosenthal's work. A prechange-postchange analysis, covering a 12-year period, is conducted in five U.S. state legislative chambers. Findings indicate that the greatest impact on performance is on those activities the committee can control most readily, namely the screening and shaping of legislation, rather than on floor acceptance. The magnitude of performance change is a function of both the initial performance levels and the amount of structural change.

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