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Motivation, agency & public policy

Motivation, agency & public policy






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Motivation, agency & public policy Motivation, agency & public policy Presentation Transcript

  • Motivation, Agency& Public Policy
    Approaching the 'human’factorin‘public’policy, ‘public’servantand the ‘public’ as beneficiary
  • Today’s topic: the human
    The central theme of today is:
    The human factor in the public sector
    & the Chess game!
    Some characteristics of the context and the workings of public policy and public sector
    The human as public servant
    The human as beneficiary of public policies/services
    How can we resolve this human Dilemma?
  • Metaphor: The chess game
  • Starring: (Le Grand,2006)
    The Knight
    The Knave
    The Queen
    The Pawn
  • Important tenets of public policy
    At the basis of policy or policy advice (or intervention) lies a policytheory
    Explicit or implicit
    Based on science
    or self-fabricated (based on believes and assumptions)
    This is influenced by the
    political ideologies
    e.g. a liberal ideology
    differs from a more conservative or
    socialistic ideology
  • Important tenets of public policy (2)
    This policy theory is has an imbedded problem analysis:
    the mechanisms that can lead to the problem that we want to resolve
    e.g. If we want to introduce a policy for the prevention of drop-out, we first have to analyze the problem mechanisms that cause students to drop-out
    A possible structure for this would be (Realistic evolution, Pawson & Tilley, 2005):
    a problem mechanism in a specific context leads to a problem outcome (Context Mechanism Outcome)
    E.g. Student with personal problems in a context where the school hasn’t got a supporting structure leads to dropping out of the education system
  • Important tenets of public policy (3)
    3. This policy theory is based on a human behavior theory
    both on the level of the beneficiaries (target group) of the policy
    as on the level of the public servants who will execute/implement the policy
  • A very basic structure:
  • Important notion:
    The success of public policies depends on the meaning that is given to the concept of humans:
    The humans as policy makers and public servants
    The humans as beneficiaries of public policies and services
    Assumptions concerning human motivation (the internal desires or preferences that incite action) and human agency (the capacity to undertake that action) are key to both the design and implementation of public policy
  • 2 important concepts when approaching humans
    And next to these 2 concepts, I would like to introduce 2 dimensions, in which above concepts can be reflected upon:
    Trust (to be autonomous)
    Choice (freedom of choice)
  • Assignment 1:
    Work in pairs and make an inventory of things that motivate human behavior to take action.
  • Let’s take a look at Dan Pink’s theory on human drive
  • Behavior theory:
    Motivation is the activation of goal-oriented behavior: to take action, to progress, to move in a certain direction
    Motivation is said to be intrinsic or extrinsic
  • Intrinsic and Extrinsic motivation
    Intrinsic refers to motivation that is driven by an interest or enjoyment in the task itself, and exists within the individual rather than relying on any external pressure (altruistic, purpose, common good, learning, collaboration, cooperation)
    Extrinsic refers to motivation that is driven from outside of the individual. Common extrinsic motivations are rewards and punishments: e.g. money, status, treat of punishment (self-oriented, win-win, “what’s in for me?”, rewards, competition, opportunistic behavior)
  • Influence of context
    Most people are both intrinsic and extrinsic motivated, you have tendencies to be one more than the other
    The characteristics of the context you are in (cooperation vs. competition will influence how you will react: if you are a more intrinsic motivated person in a competitive environment, this will make it difficult for you to cope: against your nature (visa versa))
  • Important notion 2:
    Policy not only assumes a certain motivation, but stimulates the emergence of a specific kind of motivation (catalysis): motivation is endogen*
    *increasing by internal growth
  • Assignment 2:
    Categorize the inventory you made about things that motivate human behavior to take action in A) intrinsic and b) extrinsic motivation
  • The public servant as a Knight
    What qualities would you attribute to the knight?
    “Knights are individuals who are motivated to help others for no private reward and indeed who may undertake such activities to the detriment of their own private interests.” (Le Grand, 2006. p.27)
    Knights are motivated intrinsically.
  • The public servant as the Knave
    What qualities would you attribute to the knave?
    “Knaves can be defined as self-interest individuals who are motivated to help others only if by doing so they will serve their private interests.” (Le Grand, 2006. p.27) . Knaves are extrinsically motivated
  • Assignment 3:
    What are the characteristics of the working place? In specific in the public sector?
    What influence can this have on the public servant: will he/she become a knight or a knave?
  • Characteristics of the working environment of public servants
    Research (Le Grand, 2003 & 2009) has shown some characteristics of the public sector context that breaks intrinsic motivation, among other things:
    Requirements are high
    To little autonomy, little trust
    No visible results (black box, and end-product is faraway)
    Competition rather than collaboration
    Resistance instead of appreciation
    Reward not matching the public servant’s perception of the value of his/her work (discrepancy)
    Primary conditions are not in place
  • Now, let’s go to the beneficiaries of public policy
    In the theory of human behavior behind the public policy lies the perception of human agency of the beneficiaries
    Agency refers to the capacity of an agent to act in a world, to take action and to make the right choices in life (Le Grand, 2003)
    The way we view the capacity of human agency will effect to way we design our policies
  • The beneficiary as a Queen
    What qualities would you attribute to the queen?
    The queen is a active agent who can make her own choices, and who has ‘voice’ and ‘exit’ options.
  • The beneficiary as a Pawn
    What qualities would you attribute to the pawn?
    The pawn is seen as the passive agent who doesn’t have a lot options nor choices
    (Le, Grand. 2006)
  • Three political philosophies/ideologies that differ in the meaning they give to the capacity of the human agency
    Philosophical questions to ponder on:
    How much power should individual citizens have?
    Should the decision over choices lie with the beneficiary or somewhere else (the state)?
    The welfarist approach
    The liberal approach
    The communitarian approach
  • The welfarist approach
    This approach tries to resolve the issue by referring to the impact on individual welfare and well being: that is, whether the individual users (beneficiaries) should be pawns or queens
  • The liberal approach
    This approach is concerned simply with impact on the individual’s freedom: whether users should be pawns or queens will depend on what ultimately gives them freedom of action
  • The communitarian approach
    This approach concerns the impact on the wider society of extending individuals’ power of decision: will such extension ultimately benefit or harm the interests of the community as a whole?
  • What do you think
    Imagine decisions being made on the level of public policies such as: health sector and in the education sector
    Do we have to treat beneficiaries (patients and students) as pawns or as queens?)
  • Barry Schwartz on freedom of choice
  • Paradox of choice, why more is less (Schwartz, 2004)
    The growth of options and opportunities for choice has three, related, unfortunate effects:
    It means that decisions require more effort
    It makes mistakes more likely
    It makes the psychological consequences of mistakes more severe