The expression “red tape” originated in
the 16th century when the King of England, Henry VIII was managing his empire. Important
instructions and documents were constrained together using a red tape (Bozeman and Feeney 2011). In the
public management field red tape is defined as ”rules, regulations and
procedures that entail a compliance burden without advancing the legitimate
purposes they were intended to serve” (Bozeman 2000). Over the past 20 years, the
attention to red tape has increased in the public management research and the
huge numbers of articles on it denote an escalating interest in this matter (Saldivar 2015)  (e.g.,
Bozeman, 1993; Bozeman and Scott, 1996; Scott
and Pandey ,2000; DeHart-Davis 2009). In this article we will analyze the
impact of red tape on the procedural satisfaction of citizens. Citizens having
often been ignored in red tape research, although they are a necessary group for
many public organizations because they give the legality to government organizations
(Tummers 2016). Few articles have dealt with this problem like the
article by (Tummers, Weske,
Bouwman & Grimmelikhuijsen 2016) which analyzed the effect of red tape on
citizen satisfaction generally. However, we will be more specific and focus on
the procedural satisfaction specifically in two different countries (Germany
versus the Netherlands). The first goal of this article is to explore the
impact of red tape on procedural satisfaction. The secondary goal is to study psychological
factors that may influence the relationship between red tape and citizen
satisfaction. We chose the variable power distance because it is a dimension of
national cultures (Hofstede 1983) and there
is a strong relationship between the culture (where people come from) and their
behavior (Markus & Kitayama, 1991; Triandis & Suh, 2002). With two Bafög
applications (high-low red tape) and participants from UHHhilft project in
Hamburg University we will aim to answer the following research question:

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What impact does red tape have on the
procedural satisfaction, and to what extent is this impact influenced by the
power distance of citizen?

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