Administrative delegation revisited : Experimental evidence on the behavioural consequences of public service motivation and risk aversion

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2023
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Tepe, Markus
Jankowski, Michael
Lutz, Maximilian
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Getting a grip on issues of administrative delegation is key to the performance of public organizations. The oversight game models delegation as a conflict of interest between an inspector and an inspectee to act in the interests of the former. This study tests alternative solutions to overcome ‘shirking’ in the oversight game. Specifically, we test the effect of external incentives, as implied by the game-theoretical solution, against the role of intrinsic factors, namely, public service motivation and job-related risk aversion. Evidence from a laboratory (N = 208) and survey experiment (N = 794) show that both the game-theoretical approach, which inspired new public management, and public service motivation, as its antithesis, fail to explain subjects’ behaviour. Instead, job-related risk aversion makes oversight more and ‘shirking’ less likely. This finding hints towards a more differentiated view of public employees’ risk attitudes to improve administrative delegation.

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320 Politik
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laboratory experiment, oversight, public service motivation, risk attitudes, shirking, survey experiment
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ISO 690TEPE, Markus, Susumu SHIKANO, Michael JANKOWSKI, Maximilian LUTZ, 2023. Administrative delegation revisited : Experimental evidence on the behavioural consequences of public service motivation and risk aversion. In: International Review of Administrative Sciences. Sage. 2023, 89(3), pp. 613-631. ISSN 0020-8523. eISSN 1461-7226. Available under: doi: 10.1177/00208523211073259
BibTex
@article{Tepe2023Admin-56923,
  year={2023},
  doi={10.1177/00208523211073259},
  title={Administrative delegation revisited : Experimental evidence on the behavioural consequences of public service motivation and risk aversion},
  number={3},
  volume={89},
  issn={0020-8523},
  journal={International Review of Administrative Sciences},
  pages={613--631},
  author={Tepe, Markus and Shikano, Susumu and Jankowski, Michael and Lutz, Maximilian}
}
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