Article on Organizational Social Capital Forthcoming in ARPA

The article’s title is “Mechanisms of Social Capital in Organizations: How Team Cognition Influences Employee Commitment and Engagement.” It is co-authored with Leisha Leisha DeHart-Davis (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) and Dominik Vogel (University of Hamburg). It is now forthcoming in the American Review of Public Administration.

Abstract: “While previous research has shown that organizational social capital benefits organizations and creates performance gains, most of this work examined this relationship at the macro level based on organizational aggregates. In this article, we study organizational social capital effects at the micro level, that is, its impact on important work-related attitudes of employees within organizations. We argue that individual perceptions of organization-wide social capital matter in determining employee attitudes like engagement and commitment. We also point to the critical role of team cognition in shaping individual perceptions of social capital in organizations. Using a representative sample of nearly twelve hundred individuals from two local government organizations in North Carolina, we find support for the indirect effect of team cognition on employee work attitudes. The findings suggest that a promising way to increase the social capital of organizations is through interventions at the team level.”

Article on Performance Gaming Forthcoming in PMR

The article’s title is “Explaining Effort Substitution in Performance Systems: The Role of Task Demands and Mission Orientation.” It is co-authored with Lorenzo Benaine who is a graduate student in our department.

Abstract: “This article contributes to a theory of performance gaming, as it studies why public organizations engage in effort substitution (i.e. directing effort towards rewarded as opposed to unrewarded areas). We argue that effort substitution becomes more likely if tasks are difficult; less likely in the presence of a strong mission orientation; and that mission orientation can mitigate the task demands effect. Examining a five-year panel data set of high schools, we find support for the hypotheses when rewarded and unrewarded measures capture different dimensions of performance. However, results are mixed when rewarded and unrewarded measures are conceptually linked.”

Article on Biases in Leadership Assessments Forthcoming in PMR

The article’s title is “Agreeing to Disagree? Explaining Self-Other Disagreement on Leadership Behaviour.” It is co-authored with Dominik Vogel (University of Hamburg), and it is now forthcoming in Public Management Review.

Abstract: “Leadership research tends to treat differences among ratings of the same lead-ers as measurement error. Our study makes such varying perceptions of leader-ship behaviour its main phenomenon of investigation. We conceptualize diver-gent leadership ratings based on the difference between managers’ self-ratings and team members’ assessments of leadership behaviour. Using data from three German public organizations on 51 teams and 190 leader-follower dyads, we find that divergent leadership ratings are a function of managers’ motivation, their use of managerial reflection routines, and team members’ personality. The find-ings point to the importance of using multisource feedback and developing man-agers’ self- and other-awareness.”

Article on the Connections between Performance Management and Program Evaluation Forthcoming in PAR; and Article on Organizational Social Capital Forthcoming in IPMJ

The former article is a collaboration with Don Moynihan (University of Wisconsin-Madison) and the latter piece is co-authored with Michele Tantardini, a former FIU graduate student who is now an assistant professor at Penn State Harrisburg.

The Design and Practice of Integrating Evidence: Connecting Performance Management with Program Evaluation

“In recent decades, governments have invested in the creation of two forms of knowledge production about government performance: program evaluations and performance management. Prior research has noted tensions between these two approaches and the potential for complementarities when they are aligned. This article offers empirical evidence on how program evaluations connect with performance management in the U.S. federal government in 2000 and 2013. In the later time period, there is an interactive effect between the two approaches, which, the authors argue, reflects deliberate efforts by the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations to build closer connections between program evaluation and performance management. Drawing on the 2013 data, the authors offer evidence that how evaluations are implemented matters and that evaluations facilitate performance information use by reducing the causal uncertainty that managers face as they try to make sense of what performance data mean.”

Motivating and Retaining Government Employees: The Role of Organizational Social Capital

“While a great deal of attention has been given to the role of performance pay and extrinsic rewards in understanding how to motivate and retain employees, this study points towards the importance of organizational social capital, defined as the sum of collaboration, trust, and value congruence among employees. Using a four-year panel data set of 170 federal agencies, we find a positive effect of social capital on intrinsic motivation but contradicting effects on turnover. Changes in social capital across time mitigate turnover intention but are unrelated to turnover behavior. A cross-sectional analysis shows, however, that the relationship between social capital and turnover behavior is curvilinear and has an inverted u-shape. The findings suggest that social capital can be a double-edged sword, as it is harmful in lower doses but beneficial if a critical mass of employees can participate in the social network, thereby avoiding conflict-laden in- and out-group constellations.”

Article on Changes in Prosocial Motivation over Time Forthcoming in IJPA

“Changes in Prosocial Motivation over Time: A Cross-Sector Analysis of Effects on Volunteering and Work Behavior,” which is forthcoming in the International Journal of Public Administration, is now available online. The article is co-authored with Dominik Vogel (University of Hamburg).

Abstract: “A gap in research on prosocial motivation is that very little is known about its change across time, let alone, how such changes affect employee behavior. Using multiple waves of panel data, covering a period of sixteen years, this article finds that prosocial motivation is mostly stable, and there are no broader socialization effects in the private and public sector. However, when prosocial motivation increases, it leads to increases in either work or volunteering behavior, suggesting that public employees may use alternative outlets to realize their motivation if such motivational capital cannot be linked to the mission of their organizations.”

Article on Intrinsic and Prosocial Motivation Forthcoming in ROPPA

“When Extrinsic Rewards Become ‘Sour Grapes’: An Experimental Study of Adjustments in Intrinsic and Prosocial Motivation,” which is forthcoming in the Review of Public Personnel Administration, is now available online through OnlineFirst.

Abstract: “This article challenges conventional wisdom put forward by the motivational crowding literature by examining whether hypothetical changes to incentive structures can cause variation in employee motivation. It links such motivational adjustments to theories of cognitive dissonance and self-rationalization, and thereby offers a more nuanced perspective on government reforms in the area of human resource management. The article puts forward the idea that expectations of few extrinsic rewards can raise employees’ levels of intrinsic and prosocial motivation; this response is seen as a cognitive coping mechanism to self-justify the value of one’s work. A randomized experiment with 129 public administration students provides partial evidence for the hypothesized effect. Students who were confronted with media information suggesting that few extrinsic rewards can be expected in a public-sector career reported higher scores of intrinsic motivation than the group whose vignette suggested the opposite. No effect was found with regard to students’ public service motivation.”

Syllabi for Spring

I’m looking forward to teaching PAD 6701 and PAD 6726 in our MPA program in spring. The updated syllabi can be found in the Teaching section.