PAR PREVIEW - FEBRUARY 2015
PAR Preview is a monthly newsletter that calls attention to forthcoming articles in PAR.
PAR Preview provides brief summaries of content now available digitally in Early View,
Wiley’s online publication system.
Revisiting the Core of Our Good Government Ethos
James L. Perry (Editor in Chief, Public Administration Review) discusses his editorial, “Revisiting the Core of Our Good Government Ethos.” This editorial is currently available on Early View and will be printed in Public Administration Review, Issue 75, Volume 2. Link to PAR Podcast.
Impossible Jobs or Impossible Tasks? Client Volatility and Frontline Policing Practice in Urban Riots
Kevin Morrell (Warwick Business School, United Kingdom) discusses his article co-authored with Graeme Currie (Warwick Business School), “Impossible Jobs or Impossible Tasks? Client Volatility and Frontline Policing Practice in Urban Riots.” This article is currently available on Early View and will be printed in Public Administration Review, Issue 75, Volume 2. Link to PAR Podcast.
Representation and Inclusion in Public Organizations: Evidence from the U.K. Civil Service
Theories of workforce diversity in the public sector assume that organizations that are more representative of the population they serve are more likely to foster an inclusive work climate in which individuals from different sections of society can thrive. Rhys Andrews and Rachel Ashworth (Cardiff University, United Kingdom) examine this assumption by studying whether gender and minority ethnic representativeness are related to perceptions of inclusiveness and the experience of discrimination and bullying within U.K. civil service organizations. Findings suggest that gender representativeness and minority ethnic representativeness are both associated with an inclusive work climate, with each aspect of representativeness positively related to higher perceptions of inclusion and lower levels of discrimination and bullying. The theoretical and practical implications of the findings are discussed. Link to PAR Early View.
The Politics of Local Government Stabilization Funds
The adoption, maintenance, and prudent use of budgetary stabilization funds are fundamental financial management precepts, yet the variables that influence the size of these funds are poorly understood. Douglas Snow, Gerasimos A. Gianakis, and Jonathan Haughton (Suffolk University) contribute to the stabilization fund literature by examining the extent to which variation in stabilization fund balances across municipalities and over time can be explained by a community's political culture and financial management capacity. The balanced panel research design includes archival data for 239 Massachusetts municipalities for each of 18 fiscal years. Stabilization fund balances are lower in communities with either an anti-tax or a pro-spending political culture. Stabilization fund balances are higher in communities that have the financial management capacity to accumulate budget surpluses that can be made available for appropriation to stabilization funds. Communities with the open town meeting form of government also have higher stabilization fund balances. Link to PAR Early View.
Performance-Related Pay and the Crowding Out of Motivation in the Public Sector: A Randomized Field Experiment
Nicola Bellé (Bocconi University, Italy) advances our understanding of the effects of monetary rewards on public employee performance and of the contingencies that may moderate these effects. In a randomized control-group experiment with nurses working at a local health authority in Italy, performance-related pay (PRP) had a larger effect on task performance when the rewards were kept secret than when they were disclosed. The negative interaction between PRP and visibility was stronger among participants who were exposed to direct contact with a beneficiary of their efforts, which heightened their perception of making a positive difference in other people's lives. These results are consistent with theoretical predictions that monetary incentives for activities with a prosocial impact may crowd out employee image motivation. There were no crowding-out effects when a symbolic reward was substituted for the monetary incentive. Link to PAR Early View.
Beyond Enforcement: Welcomeness, Local Law Enforcement, and Immigrants
Studies of local law enforcement actions toward immigrants show that while some cities engage in enforcement, many others do not. The extent and determinants of enforcement have been assessed, but these studies have not evaluated the full range of practices, including welcoming practices, toward immigrants. Linda M. Williams (Arizona State University) introduces the concept of “welcomeness,” develops a framework for measuring it, and, using a nationwide survey of local police departments, examines how widely departments are welcoming (or unwelcoming) to immigrants. The data show that many police departments have consciously and deliberately developed practices intended to foster positive relationships between the police and immigrants and to encourage immigrants to call the police for assistance. Link to PAR Early View.
Citizen (Dis)satisfaction: An Experimental Equivalence Framing Study
Asmus Leth Olsen (University of Copenhagen, Denmark) introduces the importance of equivalence framing for understanding how satisfaction measures affect citizens’ evaluation of public services. Does a 90 percent satisfaction rate have a different effect than a logically equivalent 10 percent dissatisfaction rate? Two experiments were conducted on citizens’ evaluations of hospital services in a large, nationally representative sample of Danish citizens. Both experiments found that exposing citizens to a patient dissatisfaction measure led to more negative views of public service than exposing them to a logically equivalent satisfaction metric. There is some support for part of the shift in evaluations being caused by a negativity bias: dissatisfaction has a larger negative impact than satisfaction has a positive impact. Both professional experience at a hospital and prior exposure to satisfaction rates reduced the negative response to dissatisfaction rates. The results call for further study of equivalence framing of performance information. Link to PAR Early View.