I´m looking for a PhD candidate (bursary) to do research on public sector reform, public services or public organisations. This is an open application, and candidates can propose their own topic focusing on major transformations of (Western) public sectors. Full details on https://www.kuleuven.be/personeel/jobsite/jobs/54621258
Public sector reforms aimed at ‘making the managers manage’ granted public managers autonomy and tried to depoliticize the administration. In this new paper in IRAS, we show that top public managers perceive different levels in the extent to which politicians try to influence senior-level appointments, as well as in the extent of management autonomy (see figure) that they have (preprint version via Lirias).
Nadine Raaphorst and I have a chapter in the new Routledge Companion to Trust, looking at trust in the public sector. We distinguish between two trust relationships. One is that of citizens in the public sector. The other is that of the public sector in citizens. We first look at signals and evidence that trust is changing. Then, we discuss initiatives aimed at increasing trust and reducing distrust between citizens and the public sector, both at the institutional level, and at the level of specific encounters between citizens and public services or public servants. We end by formulating a research agenda. A preprint is available here.
This chapter (preprint here) reviews current scholarship on satisfaction with public services and in particular the mechanisms and theories to explain such satisfaction. Differences between objective performance and subjective evaluations are discussed, as well as the impact of a halo effect in attitude formation and of direct user experience with service. Special attention goes to the expectancy disconfirmation model of satisfaction. The chapter does not only look at satisfaction as an attitude but also at voice and exit behaviours from which satisfaction or dissatisfaction can be inferred.
The new H2020 TROPICO project (TRansforming into OPen, Innovative, and Collaborative Governments) looks at collaboration in the public sector. The goal of the project is to examine how public administrations are transformed to enhance collaboration in policy design and service delivery, advancing the participation of public, private and societal actors. The project has a special focus on e-government and digital services. The project received 4.75 million Euro, and the University of Bergen (UiB) is the coordinator of the project. The other project partners are: Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam (The Netherlands), Hertie School of Governance (Germany), Tallinna Tehnikaulikool (Estonia), Universidad de Zaragoza (Spain), Catholic University of Leuven (Belgium), University of Antwerp (Belgium), Roskilde University (Denmark), Kozep-Europai Egyetem (Hungary), Cardiff University (United Kingdom), Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (France) and Universität Potsdam (Germany)
After a service failure, citizens expect a recovery strategy that restores perceived justice and places a reasonable value on their loss. Offering monetary compensation is a strategy commonly used in private settings, but less so in public settings. Results of our experiments showed that compensation leads to similar positive effects in public and private settings confirming earlier private setting research that applied justice theory. Explicitly promising compensation prior to a service encounter had no effect. However, promising compensation and not offering it led to decreased citizens’ evaluations, which confirms expectancy disconfirmation theory. Preprint of this paper with Thomassen, Leliveld and Ahaus on Researchgate. Soon out in Public Administration.
In this paper in IJPSM we study public preferences for public procurement practices. The paper looks into public support for cost-effectiveness, discriminatory procurement in favour of domestic suppliers and sustainable procurement, using opinion data from 27 countries. Read it here or here (pre-print). The paper is part of a special issue about public procurement as a policy tool.
I´m currently looking to recruit a PhD student (paid position). In the project we will study what drives civil servants´ willingness, incentives and ability to collaborate with other actors in processes of policy design and service delivery. More information on http://icts.kuleuven.be/apps/jobsite/vacatures/54139644#close
As part of the NWO vidi project on the interaction between public officials an citizens, we just published this systematic review in ARPA on organizational socialization in public administration. Organizational socialization is the process of mutual adaptation between an organization and its new members. We are now collecting panel data in two national tax administrations. A preprint is also available.
I contributed a chapter on trust in public services to the report ´Trust at risk: implications for EU policies and institutions´, edited by the European Commission´s DG Research. It identifies signals that trust may be at risk, and what may happens when trust declines. Download the full report here.