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The notion that public managers influence organizational performance is common in public administration research. However, less is known about why some managers are better at influencing organizational performance than others. Furthermore, relatively few studies have systematically examined managerial influence and scholars have yet to investigate either quantitatively or systematically managerial influence in the White House. Utilizing original survey data collected from former White House officials who served in the Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and Clinton administrations, this study applies empirical public management theory to examine for the first time the key determinants that shape perceptions of chief of staff managerial influence. The findings demonstrate how several core concepts in public management theory help explain the dynamics that drive perceptions of managerial influence, thereby providing a new contribution to the literature on public management.

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This is an author-produced, peer-reviewed version of this article. The final, definitive version of this document can be found online at Public Administration, published by Wiley-Blackwell. Copyright restrictions may apply. doi: 10.1111/padm.12097